Fink scores hat trick, Bandits open pre-season with 7-2 win in Drumheller

DRUMHELLER, AB (August 31, 2022) – Aiden Fink scored five points, Elliot Dutil had a pair of goals, and the Brooks Bandits (1-0) opened their 2022 Exhibition Season with a 7-2 victory over the Drumheller Dragons on Wednesday at the Memorial Arena.

Brooks killed off five penalties in the 1st period, and went 8/8 on the penalty kill while goaltender Ethan Barwick (Lindenwood) made 24 saves in the win.

The Bandits opened the scoring at 7:56 of the 1st period, as Fink (Wisconsin) cleaned up a loose puck in the slot and scored on the forehand to make it 1-0, for the period’s only goal. Shots in the 1st were 12-11 Dragons, but the Bandits penalty kill gave up nothing.

Most of the scoring came in the 2nd period, as Fink doubled the lead at 3:34 on the powerplay. Defenceman Dominick Campione (Arizona State) slid the puck to Fink in the bottom of the left circle, and the second-year forward forced Dragons starter William Dyke out of his crease on a deke and tucked in the puck from behind the goal line to make it 2-0. Brooks extended the lead to 3-0 at 7:18 again on the powerplay as forward Dario Beljo (AIC) got his own rebound and scored on his second chance. Colin Holmes got one back for Drumheller at 12:28 finishing off a behind-the-net pass to cut the lead to 3-1. But 26 seconds later, Bandits forward Elliot Dutil scored off the rush, sniping a top shelf shot from the right circle to make it 4-1.

Fink completed the hat trick with 1:29 left in the 2nd, after centre Hudson Malinoski (Providence) won an offensive zone faceoff to Fink, who scored from the left circle to make it 5-1. 30 seconds later, Malinoski scored his first as a Bandit, shooting short side on a forehand shot after the Dragons turned the puck over in their own end. The Dragons Nathan Fox scored on a two-on-one rush with nine seconds left to cut the Brooks lead to 6-2. Shots in the 2nd were 15-10 Bandits.

The Bandits sealed the win with another goal at 5:39 of the 3rd period, as Dutil knocked in a Campione setup to make it 7-2. Shots in the 3rd were 14-4 Brooks and 40-26 overall.

The Bandits next test is Thursday, September 1 when they host the Wisconsin Lumberjacks of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) at the Centennial Regional Arena. Game time is 6:30 pm, and tickets are only $5 for adults and youth. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV, and a free audio stream will be available on Mixlr.