Bandits clinch home ice advantage throughout playoffs in come-from-behind win over Grizzlys at CRA

BROOKS, AB (February 16, 2022) – The Brooks Bandits scored three unanswered goals in the 3rd period and erased a one-goal deficit, en route to a 4-2 win over the Olds Grizzlys on Wednesday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

It was the Bandits 25th consecutive home win, and helped clinch home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Brooks also set a team record for most goals in a season with 335, surpassing the 2018-19 team who scored 334. Brooks swept the six-game season series with the Grizzlys, and have won 26 straight over Olds.

Olds opened the scoring at 4:35 as forward Kasey Hiemstra scored on a breakaway and beat Bandits goaltender Max Beckford on the five-hole to make it 1-0 Grizzlys. But Brooks tied it up at 6:40, as forward Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) sniped a top left corner goal off an offensive zone faceoff win to make it 1-1. However, the Grizzlys retook the lead at 16:21 on the powerplay, scoring on a net-front battle to make it 2-1. Grizzlys goaltender Jared Whale, making his first return to Brooks since being traded, denied Bandits forward TJ Hughes (Mercyhurst) on a one-timer to preserve the lead. Shots were 15-7 Bandits in the period.

Brooks outshot Olds 15-2 in the 2nd period, but it was a scoreless frame.

The Bandits tied it up at 2:46 of the 3rd, as Hughes redirected an Ethan O’Halloran shot to make it 2-2. Brooks got their first lead at 4:00 on the powerplay, as forward Devin Phillips (Holy Cross) tapped in a McAllister pass to make it 3-2, Phillips’ third point of the game. Brooks got the insurance marker at 5:31 as forward Aiden Fink (Wisconsin) finished off a two-on-none rush set up by Nic DeGraves to make it 4-2. Despite Olds pulling Whale for the extra attacker, 4-2 would be the final. Shots were 11-10 in the 3rd, and 41-19 Bandits overall. It was the Bandits first win of the season when trailing after two periods.

The Bandits will look to continue the home winning streak on Friday, February 18th with a big South Division showdown against the Okotoks Oilers. Game time is 7:00 pm at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Photo: Em Duncan