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Bookman makes team history, Bandits down Pontiacs 8-3 on Friday at CRA

BROOKS, AB (January 7, 2022) – Zach Bookman made team history and the Brooks Bandits won their 17th straight game, downing the Bonnyville Pontiacs 8-3 on Friday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Bookman registered his 76th point of the season, setting a new team record for most points by a defenceman in a single season. The record was 75, held by Cale Makar (2016-17) and Dennis Cesana (2017-18).

Photo: Em Duncan

Bandits goaltender Ethan Barwick 18 saves in for the team’s 17th straight win, and Brooks (37-1-1) hasn’t lost in regulation in 37 games.

Highlights:

After it was scoreless through the first eight minutes, Bandits defenceman Josh Zinger (Northern Michigan) sniped a sharp angle shot at 8:45 to give Brooks the early lead. However, the Pontiacs would tie on the powerplay, as Kash Rasmussen scored from the left point at 11:33. Brooks reclaimed the lead at 15:38, as forward Anthony Cipollone (Quinnipiac) one-timed a Devin Phillips (Holy Cross) pass from the slot to make it 2-1 Brooks. It was Phillips first game since November 23, as well as Heath Armstrong’s first game back for the first time since October 17.

Bookman (Merrimack) blasted a slapshot at 18:21 on the powerplay from the right point to make it 3-1, tying the record with his 75th point. The goal chased starter Matt Hennessey, who was pulled for Bodee Weiss. Shots were 8-7 Brooks.

Just 28 seconds into the 2nd period, forward TJ Hughes (Mercyhurst) found a rebound off a Phillips shot, with Bookman picking up the secondary assist, setting the new record, making it 4-1. The Bandits made it 5-1 as Zinger knocked in a high slot chance at 4:57 for his second of the game. The Pontiacs got one back, as Charlie Russell cleaned up a net front scramble at 9:55 to make it 5-2 Brooks. Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) sniped a left circle shot at 14:40 on the powerplay to make it 6-2, but Bonnyville wouldn’t go away, as Sebastian Tamburro scored from the left circle at 18:27 to make it a 6-3 Bandit lead. Shots were 18-9 Brooks.

Bandits forward Nic DeGraves forced a Pontiac turnover and scored top shelf top right corner to make it 7-3 at 8:20. Hughes would score his second of the net at 11:08 on the powerplay, finishing off a behind-the-net pass from McAllister to make it 8-3, the final. Shots were 7-5 Brooks in the 3rd, and 33-21 overall.

Postgame comments from Zach Bookman:

The Bandits head on the road on Saturday, January 8 to take on the Okotoks Oilers at Pason Centennial Arena. Live play-by-play can be heard on Real Country 105.7 FM.