Blackfalds Bulldogs Bonnyville Pontiacs Brooks Bandits Calgary Canucks Camrose Kodiaks Canmore Eagles Drayton Valley Thunder Drumheller Dragons Fort McMurray Oil Barons Grande Prairie Storm Lloydminster Bobcats Okotoks Oilers Olds Grizzlys Sherwood Park Crusaders Spruce Grove Saints Whitecourt Wolverines

Bandits clinch Regular Season Championship with 4-2 comeback win in Okotoks

Photo by Chad Goddard.

OKOTOKS, AB (February 24, 2023) – For the sixth time in team history, the Brooks Bandits are Regular Season Champions thanks to a 4-2 win over the Oilers on Friday at the Centennial Arena.

The Bandits (50-5-2) have clinched home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Goaltender Ethan Barwick made 23 saves for his 43rd win of the season, which ties the AJHL record for most wins in a season by a goaltender since the stat was recorded. It’s the sixth time the Bandits have won the Regular Season Championship.

Brooks opened the scoring at 4:57 of the 1st Period, as forward Aiden Fink (Calgary, AB) went top shelf on the powerplay to make it 1-0. But Okotoks tied the game at 8:41, as Jackson Rowland tipped a point shot. The Oilers took a 2-1 lead at 17:04, as Jagger Tapper cleaned up a loose puck in the crease. With 1:27 left in the period, Bandits forward Davide Patella (Laval, QC) tied the game 2-2, getting to a loose puck in the slot and sliding the puck into the net.

The 2nd period was scoreless, as Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made a pad save on Zeth Kindrachuk to deny a two-on-one Oilers rush.

After killing three straight penalties in the 3rd period, the Bandits were rewarded at 13:45, as forward Mikhail Simchuk pounced on a Hughie Hooker (Brandon, MB) rebound and scored to make it 3-2. Okotoks emptied the net, but with 48 seconds remaining, forward Brendan Poshak (Green Bay, WI) scored an empty netter to seal the 4-2 win. Shots were 27-25 Bandits.

The rematch goes Saturday, February 25th, at 7:00 pm. There will be a pregame awards ceremony, and the Cash Raffle $35,000 Grand Prize draw.