CAMROSE, AB (September 19, 2023) – Despite outshooting the opposition 34-17, the Brooks Bandits suffered their first regular season loss since January 28th in a 3-1 loss to the Kodiaks on Tuesday at Encana Arena.
Mirko Buttazzoni (Langley, BC) scored the lone Bandits goal, and had another waved off that was deemed to be covered by Kodiaks goaltender Charlie Zolin. Bandits goaltender Johnny Hicks (Kamloops, BC) made 14 saves as the Bandits suffered their first loss since Game 2 of the 2023 AJHL Championship Final last spring.
Camrose opened the scoring at 1:28, as Myles Gauld batted in a puck out of the air to make it 1-0. Despite the officials discussing if it was touched by a high stick, it was deemed a good goal. The Bandits tied the game at 11:03, as defenceman Hughie Hooker (Brandon, MB) passed to Buttazzoni, who was waiting in the left circle for the puck, and would score on a forehand shot. Brooks outshot Camrose 15-5 in the 1st period.
The 2nd period was scoreless. The Kodiaks took the lead at 6:00 of the 3rd period, as Gauld scored from the left circle seconds after the Bandits had killed off a penalty. Camrose took a 3-1 lead just 53 seconds later as Mason Svarich scored off the rush.
In the final minutes, Buttazzoni thought he scored his second of the game, cleaning up a loose puck after a scramble in front of the Camrose net. But the goal was waved off, and the comeback came up short.
The Bandits will look to bounce back on Friday, September 22nd when they host the Sherwood Park Crusaders at the Centennial Regional Arena for the 2023-24 Regular Season Home Opener. Game time is 7:00 pm, which will be preceded by a free tailgate, player introductions and ceremony commemorating the team’s four Championships banners from the 2022-23 season.
The home weekend continues on Saturday, September 23rd, when the Bandits host the Whitecourt Wolverines at 7:00 pm.