Bandits comeback falls just short in first loss of exhibition series

OKOTOKS, AB (October 23, 2020) – Despite outshooting the Okotoks Oilers 42-28 and narrowing a three goal deficit to one goal, the Brooks Bandits dropped their first game of the 2020 Exhibition Season, falling 5-3 on Friday night at Pason Centennial Arena.

Owen Cole, TJ Hughes and Ethan Lund scored the Bandit goals, while goaltender Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made 23 saves in the loss. The Bandits lead the six game series 4 games to 1.

For the 4th time in the series, Brooks got on the scoreboard first. Forward Owen Cole (Dunnville, ON) got his first as Bandit 1:48 into the game after a rebound came to him in front of the net. But the Oilers would respond less than two minutes later, as forward Jack Works scored top shelf on a breakaway to tie the game. Then, with under 8 minutes left in the 1st, Okotoks went ahead 2-1 after defenceman Coltan Wilkie redirected a pass on a 2-on-1 rush, a shorthanded goal. Shots were 15-7 Brooks in the 1st.

The Oilers extended their lead in the 2nd period to 4-1 with back to back goals from Zane Kindrachuk and Blake Jacques in the opening 9 minutes.

But the Bandits wouldn’t give up. Nearly halfway into the 2nd, forward TJ Hughes (Hamilton, ON) finished off a 2-on-1 pass from Ryan McAllister (London, ON) to cut the lead to 4-2. With under 2 minutes to go in the frame, defenceman Ethan Lund (Calgary, AB) fired a wrist shot from the slot to bring Brooks to within one goal of tying, 4-3. Shots were 21-8 for the Bandits in the period.

The Oilers reclaimed a two-goal lead in the 3rd period. Forward Dylan James gave Okotoks a 5-3 lead 9:36 into the frame, and that would hold for the rest of the game.

Series: Bandits lead 4 games to 1

Oct 9th: Oilers 2 @ Bandits 5
Oct 10th: Bandits 4 @ Oilers 3 OT
Oct 16th: Bandits 6@ Oilers 5 OT
Oct 17th: Oilers 1 @ Bandits 3
Oct 23rd: Bandits 3 @ Oilers 5
Oct 24th: Oilers @ Bandits

The Bandits wrap up their exhibition series with the Oilers on Saturday, October 24th at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks. It’s sold out due to government restrictions.

Game time is 7:00 PM, with live coverage on Real Country 105.7 FM and Hockey TV.


Photo: Bryan Wilson