BROOKS, AB (January 14, 2023) – Aiden Fink scored the eventual game-winner, and Caelan Fitzpatrick added an empty netter for insurance as the Brooks Bandits won their seventh straight game, downing the Okotoks Oilers 6-4 on Saturday.
Nearly 1,600 fans took in the game at the Centennial Regional Arena, as the Bandits (39-3-2) never gave up the lead despite Okotoks making it close. Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made 40 saves for the win.
Defenceman Hughie Hooker (Brandon, MB) opened the scoring at 4:15 of the 1st period on a pass from Fink (Calgary, AB) on the powerplay, as Hooker shelved the puck to make it 1-0 Brooks. The Bandits doubled their lead to 2-0 at 13:03, as defenceman Ethan Beyer (Centennial, CO) wristed a Nathan Free (Calgary, AB) pass on a coast-to-coast rush. But Okotoks got one back at 17:29, as Brody Maguire tapped in a behind the net attempt from Ryan Neumann that found its way into the net to cut the Bandits lead to 2-1.
Brooks increased their lead to 3-1 at 1:11 of the 2nd period, as Beljo (Sudbury, ON) scored backhand on a breakaway. Oilers forward Brett Wilson was given a major penalty for boarding Bandits defenceman Dominick Campione (Kohler, WI), and Brooks capitalized on the powerplay. Free sniped a left circle shot on a pass from Brendan Poshak (Green Bay, WI) to make it 4-1. But the Oilers got two back, as Jackson Rowland scored on a backhander at 13:38 to make it 4-2, and Ryan Neumann scored forehand to make it 4-3 with just 30 seconds left in the frame.
Fink gave Brooks a 5-3 edge at 4:48 cleaned up a loose puck off a Jordan Hughesman (Winnipeg, MB) chance that goaltender Parker Sawka was unable to cover. But Okotoks got one back at 17:35, as Sam Huck tipped a Nick Wolfenberg point shot to make it a 5-4 Brooks advantage. The Oilers emptied the net for the extra attacker, but Fitzpatrick would make sure the game wouldn’t need overtime, as he scored on the empty net with 40 seconds remaining to give Brooks the 6-4 win, the final.
The Bandits return to the ice on Friday, January 20, when they host the Blackfalds Bulldogs at 7:00 pm.