Bandits double Canucks in opening night of AJHL Return to Play

BROOKS, AB (March 12, 2021) – Chris Pappas scored twice, and the Bandits held off a late push from the Calgary Canucks to prevail with a 4-2 win on opening night of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Return to Play.

Goaltender Jared Whale (Calgary, AB) made 11saves for his 1st regular season win as a Bandit, while Canucks netminder Adam Dmyterko stopped 40 shots in the loss.

The Bandits wore brand new black alternate jerseys, sponsored by Scotiabank, for the 1st time, and with the win, improved their record to 3-0. It was their first game since November 15th, 2020 due to the season pause caused by government restrictions.

Bandits forward Ryan McAllister (London, ON) scored early, as he wristed a puck from the slot to make it 1-0 Brooks just 1:55 into the game. Less than 5 minutes later, forward TJ Hughes (Hamilton, ON) took a slap shot from the mid-blueline that was redirected in by defenceman Tim Rego (Mansfield, MA) to make it 2-0 Brooks. Shots weres 15-7 in the 1st for the Bandits.

Just 2:14 into the 2nd period, Pappas (Toronto, ON) scored his 1st of the night after finding a rebound and scoring on a forehand shot. The Canucks responded 23 seconds later, as forward Daxton Budd found a loose puck after missing on his 1st shot, and stuffed it into the net to cut the Bandit lead to 3-1. Brooks outshot Calgary 18-4 in the frame.

Another quick goal to start the 3rd period, and once again it was Pappas. He took a corner feed from Owen Cole and one-timed it past Dmyterko to make it 4-1 Brooks. But following a 7 minute penalty kill after Alan MacPherson was given a 5 minute fighting major and instigator, the Canucks answered with an end-to-end rush by Nicholas Cherkowski, scoring to make it 4-2.  

Despite Calgary pulling their goaltender in the final minute, they wouldn’t get any closer, as the Bandits have now won 18 straight games over the Canucks. ¬†Final shots were 44-13 Brooks.

The Bandits next game is Saturday, March 13th when they travel to Okotoks to take on the Oilers at Pason Centennial Arena. Follow along Real Country 105.7 FM and starting at 6:45 PM.

Photo: Bryan Wilson