Sherwood Park, AB (January 18, 2020) – The top teams in each division met for the first time of the season on Saturday night, but it would be the Sherwood Park Crusaders (37-6) getting the two points, defeating the Brooks Bandits (38-5-1) 7-4 at Sherwood Park Arena.
Brooks outshot the Crusaders 37-31, but were denied on some big time scoring opportunities by highlight reel saves by goaltender Carter Gylander, as the team dropped their second straight game. Bandit goaltender Pierce Charleson made 25 saves in the loss.
The Crusaders came out on fire, scoring just 18 seconds in on a tipped point shot by William Zapernick. Then at 1:37 on the powerplay, Jarred White doubled the Crusader lead.
Brooks got one back, as rookie defenceman Tyler Bates (Calgary, AB) knocked in his first career AJHL goal at 12:54 to cut the lead to 2-1. But Sherwood Park got a shorthanded goal from Arjun Atwal at 15:06 off a Bandit turnover, followed by a Carter Savoie wrist shot goal 27 seconds later to make it 4-1.
Savoie scored again at 7:18 of the 2nd period to make it 5-1, but the Bandits wouldn’t go quietly. Forward Sean Chisholm (Caledonia, ON) blasted a one-timer passed by Devin Phillips (Raleigh, North Carolina) at 13:30 to cut the lead to 5-2. Brooks outshot Sherwood Park 15-8 in the frame.
The Crusaders then took a 6-2 lead at 3:07 on a breakaway goal from Savoie to complete the hat trick. Chisholm and forward Ryan McAllister (London, ON) would each score again to make it 6-4 and force the Crusaders to use a timeout, but with 1 second left, Jarred White found the empty net to seal it 7-4 the final.
The Bandits return home for two games next weekend. First off, they host the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Friday (January 24). All local first responders get in for just $5, sponsored by the City of Brooks. Then, the Bandits will host Sherwood Park on Saturday (January 25), presented by the Brooks Bombers.
Both games are at 7:00 PM, with seats available at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.