BROOKS, AB (November 24, 2017) –– A comeback was not in the cards for the Brooks Bandits (16-10-1) on Friday night, who dropped their third straight game following a 5-3 setback at the hands of the Calgary Canucks (12-14-1).
The loss and a Drumheller win over the Bobcats on Friday night narrows the Bandit hold on 2nd place in the South Division to just two points over the Dragons.
Calgary opened the scoring 4:04 into the game on a Zach Russell point shot that found its way into the Bandit net. But Brooks would respond nearly eight minutes later on the powerplay. Forward Will Garin (Mound, MN) stuffed in a puck after linemate Ryan Mahshie (Stoney Creek, ON) passed it to the front of the Canuck net and was redirected in. However, the Canucks re-claimed the lead with 3:59 left in the frame, as forward Zach Webb scored on a two-on-one rush to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
Brooks outshot Calgary 11-3 in the second period, but couldn't solve goaltender Erik Gordon, who would end the night with 34 saves. With 17 seconds left in the period, Calgary's Mark Drohan blasted a goal from the top of the right circle to make it 3-1.
The Bandits drew within a goal early in the third period. Forward Ocean Wiesblatt (Calgary, AB) shot the puck off the glass, and the rebound went off the back of the Canuck netminder into the net to make it a 3-2 game. But just under three minutes later, Cooper Johnson of the Canucks scored on a breakaway to put his team back up by two.
Determined not to go down without a fight, the Bandits scored to get within a goal, as forward Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) jumped on a loose puck in front of the Canuck net. However, just when it seemed like the Bandits were on the verge of forcing overtime, a turnover in the neutral zone with the net empty led to a goal shot in from centre ice by the Canucks' Jordan McConnell to put the game away.
The Bandits outshot the Canucks 37-18, while going 1 for 7 on the powerplay, while their penalty kill 3 for 4.
A total of 1,203 fans took in the game at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The Bandits wrap up their three-game home stand on Saturday when the host the Calgary Mustangs. Game time is 7:00 p.m.; tickets are available at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.