Bandits score four unanswered in 5-3 comeback win over Oilers in road exhibition game

Photo credit: Chad Goddard

OKOTOKS, AB (September 8, 2023) – The Brooks Bandits scored four unanswered goals, erasing a two-goal deficit, and completed a 5-3 comeback win over the Okotoks Oilers on Friday at the Centennial Arena.

The Bandits (2-0) remain undefeated in the Pre-season, with one more exhibition test coming on Saturday at home vs the same Oilers.

Goaltender Johnny Hicks (Kamloops, BC) made 16 saves for the win, allowing no goals in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Okotoks opened the scoring at 11:05, as defenceman Rylan Brown cleaned up a net-front scramble and scored to make it 1-0. The Oilers doubled the lead at 12:18 on a Kade Turner shot off the rush. The Bandits got one back at 15:03, as defenceman Hughie Hooker (Brandon, MB) fed a pass to forward Mirko Buttazzoni (Langley, BC), who sniped a top shelf shot to cut the lead to 2-1. But Okotoks got it back at 15:34, as Hunter Sawka scored off the rush to make it 3-1. Brooks outshot Okotoks 12-7 in the period.

The 2nd period saw the Bandits outshoot the Oilers 17-4, but wouldn’t solve Okotoks starter Shane Shelest until the final second of the frame. Forward Caelan Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) one-timed a cross-ice pass from Parker Lalonde (Aberdeen, SK) on the powerplay to cut the Oilers lead to 3-2, the only goal of the frame.

Brooks tied the game 3-3 just 46 seconds into the 3rd period, as defenceman Ethan Beyer (Centennial, CO) had a rebound shot come to him in the left circle, which he made sure found the back of the Oilers net on the powerplay. The first Bandits lead came at 15:25, as Jordan Hughesman (Winnipeg, MB) prevented the Oilers from exiting their zone, and then passing to an open Josh Wiebe (Calgary, AB), who sniped the go-ahead goal to make it 4-3 Brooks. The Bandits got another powerplay goal at 18:37, as forward Dakota MacIntosh (Winnipeg, MB) scored from the left circle off a rebound to make it a 5-3 final.

The Bandits and Oilers rematch goes Saturday, September 9th in Brooks at 7:00 pm. Tickets are only $5.