CANMORE, AB (March 23, 2022) – The Brooks Bandits are off to the AJHL South Division Final thanks to a four-game sweep of the Canmore Eagles, punctuated by a 7-1 win in Game 4 Wednesday at the Recreation Centre.
Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) and Aiden Fink (Wisconsin) each had two-goal games, Ethan Barwick made 26 saves, the Bandits penalty kill was 5/5 and Brooks finished the Division Semi-Final off in four games, outscoring the Eagles 31-9 in the series.
Brooks opened the scoring 2:28 into the game, as McAllister skated from the wall out to the high slot and let a shot fly that Eagles starter Andreai Proctor-Ramirez blocked as he was fighting off a TJ Hughes (Michigan) screen, but the puck tipped in the air and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Brooks. The Bandits doubled their lead to 2-0 at 15:00 as the Bandits forced an Eagles turnover, and Hughes fed a streaking McAllister the pass from the corner, which led to McAllister sniping a right circle shot. Then on the powerplay with 57 seconds left in the period, forward Devin Phillips (Holy Cross) scored on a forehand shot from the right circle to increase the lead to 3-0. Shots were 15-10 Brooks in the frame.
Only one goal was scored in the 2nd, just as a powerplay expired, Fink one-timed a Boston Buckberger (Wisconsin) pass from the point making it 4-0 Bandits. Shots in the 2nd were 18-5 Brooks.
Bandits forward Hunter Wallace (RPI) scored his first of the playoffs 3:28 into the 3rd, Hughes fed him a cross-ice pass and he scored from the right circle to make it 5-0 Brooks. Eagles forward Ethan Schaeffer would spoil the shutout bid at 7:45, cleaning up a loose puck on a net front scramble to cut the lead to 5-1. Forward Anthony Cipollone (Quinnipiac) would also get his first of the post-season at 10:53, skating from behind the net, and turning and scoring on the forehand to increase the lead to 6-1. Then at 17:17 on the powerplay, Fink went top shelf on a shot from the left circle to make it 7-1. Shots in the 3rd were 13-12 Bandits and 46-27 overall.
The AJHL South Final begins on Friday (April 8th), Game 1 will be at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks. The opponent will be the winner of the Drumheller Dragons/Okotoks Oilers series.