Blocha scores in return to Drayton Valley as Bandits finish road trip with 3-1 win

Defenceman Hughie Hooker

DRAYTON VALLEY, AB (December 10, 2022) – Tyler Blocha scored in his return to Drayton Valley, as the Brooks Bandits got back in the win column with a 3-1 victory at the Omniplex on Saturday.

The Bandits (31-2-2) scored twice on the powerplay, with goals from Hughie Hooker (Brandon, MB) and Blocha (Bonnyville, AB), while Brendan Poshak (Green Bay, WI) added one at even-strength as Brooks bounced back with a win to wrap up the road trip. Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made 29 saves for the win.

Hooker opened the scoring with 8 minutes left in the 1st period, as Poshak passed from the right circle up high to Hooker, who shelved the puck and beat Thunder starter Colin Reay on the powerplay to make it 1-0.

Drayton Valley defenceman Sam Mosharchuk was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding Bandits forward Elliot Dutil (Montreal, QC) 2:31 into the 2nd period to send Brooks back to the man-advantage, which they capitalized on. Blocha, who was traded from Drayton Valley to Brooks in October, one-timed a Hooker pass from the left circle at 6:56 and scored on his former team to make it 2-0.

Brooks tripled the lead at 7:55 of the 3rd period, as Poshak finished off backhand to forehand drive to the net for his 16th goal of the year, thanks to a setup from Quinn Disher (Fort St. John, BC) and Mikhail Simchuk (Kyiv, UK), who forced a Thunder turnover to make the play possible. The Thunder spoiled Barwick’s shutout bid at 15:23 on the powerplay, as forward Cooper Brown tipped a point shot to cut the lead to 3-1. But Drayton Valley took a bench minor for too-many-men late in the period, sealing their fate in a 3-1 Bandits win. Final shots were 46-30 Bandits.

The Bandits are back on the road on Tuesday, December 13, with a stop in Blackfalds to face the Bulldogs. Game time is 7:00 pm, with live coverage on Real Country 105.7 FM.

Brooks wrap up their pre-Christmas break schedule with back to back home games on Friday, December 16 vs the Bonnyville Pontiacs, followed by a Saturday, December 17 date with the Lloydminster Bobcats. Both games are at 7:00 pm.