OKOTOKS, AB (January 5, 2018) – The Brooks Bandits’ (27-11-1) 11-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night, as the league-leading Okotoks Oilers (30-6-2) downed their divisional rivals for the sixth and final time this regular season, by a 4-2 score.
The Bandits found themselves down two goals before the game was eight minutes old, but stormed back to tie with two goals of their own, before allowing the game winning goal on the shift following the tying goal, en route to the loss. Shots were tied 33-33 with Riley Morris making 31 saves in the win, with Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) stopped only 29.
A long point shot from the Oilers generated the opening goal as the puck bounced off Benson’s blocker, up in the air, and came down in behind him, where Austin Wong tapped the puck over the goal line for a 1-0 lead. Then, after a neutral zone turnover by Brooks, Marc Pasemko sped in on a 2-on-1 rush and fired a wrist shot by Benson to double the Okotoks lead at the 7:26 mark.
But just over a minute later, Brooks got on the board when a Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) point shot was deflected home by Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) to cut the deficit in half. Less than four minutes after that, Will Garin (Mound, MN) sped in along the right side and saucered a perfect pass in front that Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) deflected home to put the game back to square one.
The jubilation was short-lived, however, as on the very next shift, Kyle Gordon skated into the Bandits zone, evaded the entire defence, and fired a breakaway wrister by Benson for the eventual game winner. A scoreless second gave way to a feisty third where Okotoks got insurance at 13:51 on Gordon’s second of the game, after Wong forced another turnover in the Bandits zone and fired the puck to the game’s first start, who was all alone for a quick forehand-to-backhand move to make it 4-2.
The Bandits return home for a Saturday night showdown with the Drumheller Dragons, beginning at 7:00 PM at the Centennial Regional Arena. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.