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Bookman breaks league record as Bandits double up Oilers 4-2 in Okotoks

OKOTOKS, AB (February 19, 2022) – Ryan McAllister and TJ Hughes each score twice, Zach Bookman broke a league record and the Brooks Bandits won a 4-2 thriller over the Oilers on Saturday at Pason Centennial Arena.

Bookman broke the AJHL record for most assists in a season by a defenceman with his 75th assist of the season, breaking Gord Thibodeau’s record of 74 from the 1983-84 season.

McAllister also became the second Bandit to score 50 in a season, the other being Hughes. Goaltender Ethan Barwick made 14 saves for the win, the Bandits (50-5-2) fourth straight and 50th total win on the season.

Brooks opened the scoring at 6:47 on the powerplay, as McAllister (Western Michigan) sniped a top right corner shot to make it 1-0 Brooks, his 50th goal of the season. Despite Brooks outshooting Okotoks 19-5 in the 1st, they were unable to get another past Oiler starter Parker Sawka. With 33 second left in the frame, Oilers forward Sam Huck picked up his own rebound off a Tucker McRae point shot on the powerplay and tucked it into the Bandit to tie the game 1-1.

Hughes reclaimed the Bandits lead at 12:15 of the 2nd period, snapping a top left corner shot from the right circle for his 61st of the season to make it 2-1. Hughes found the back of the net again at 18:31, as he finished off a point shot from Dominick Campione (Arizona State) to give Brooks a 3-1 lead. Shots were 12-6 Bandits in the period.

The Oilers didn’t go away in the 3rd, after blocking a McAllister left circle shot, the play turned to the other end and Huck jumped on a failed Bandits clearing attempt and scored to cut the lead to 3-2 at 8:09. Okotoks pulled Sawka with just under two minutes remaining for the extra attacker, but McAllister would take a Hughes pass at centre ice and score on the empty net to make it 4-2, the final. Bookman picked up a secondary assist on the play to break the record. Shots in the 3rd were 15-8 Brooks and 46-19 overall.

The Bandits next home game is Monday (Feb 21) as they host the Canmore Eagles for the Annual Family Day Game at 4:00 pm. Fans age 17 and under get in for free, and there’s a skate with the Bandits following the game.

Credit: RHCphoto / Rob Raincock