Bandits powerplay converts three times, TJ Hughes scores a pair in 4-1 win in Whitecourt

WHITECOURT, AB (November 28, 2021) – The Brooks Bandits racked up three powerplay goals, breaking a 3rd period tie in a 4-1 win over the Whitecourt Wolverines on Sunday at the Scott Safety Centre.

Forward TJ Hughes (Mercyhurst) scored two of the goals, while Ethan Barwick made 26 saves for the Bandits sixth straight win. Brooks (26-1-1) hasn’t lost in regulation in 26 games, and haven’t lost on the road this season in regulation either.


Bandits forward Dario Beljo opened the scoring on the powerplay 10:02 into the game, taking a pass from Hughes from behind the net and shooting the puck into the net from the left circle to make it 1-0 Brooks. However, the Wolverines responded in the final two minutes of the period, as forward Thomas Vela got to a loose puck in the Bandits end and beat Barwick from the left circle, the first shorthanded goal that Brooks has surrendered this year. Shots were 21-4 Brooks in the frame.

The 2nd period was more even in shots, 10-10, but neither team was able to score. Brooks best chance came on a Nicholas DeGraves chance, but he hit the crossbar on a loose puck that Wolverines starter William Grimard was unable to cover.

Hughes broke the 1-1 tie on the powerplay early in the 3rd from the right circle, one-timing a pass from Beljo at 4:11 to make it 2-1. Two minutes later, and back on the powerplay, Hughes stuffed in a short side chance past Grimard, making it 3-1 Bandits. Whitecourt called at timeout with just over two minutes left in the game and puled Grimard for the extra attacked, but Brooks won the defensive zone draw and defenceman Zach Bookman (Merrimack) cleared the puck down the ice for his second empty net goal of the weekend, making it a 4-1 final. Shots in the 3rd were 13-12 Whitecourt, but 43-27 Bandits overall.

Postgame comments from TJ Hughes:

The Bandits return home for two games this week at the Centennial Regional Arena. They host the Blackfalds Bulldogs on Wednesday, December 1 at 6:30 pm. That’s followed by a Saturday, December 4 date with the Canmore Eagles at 7:00 pm.