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Fink scores shootout winner as Brooks Bandits prevail in Okotoks

OKOTOKS, AB (September 3, 2022) – Aiden Fink scored the shootout winner and the Brooks Bandits held on for their 3rd straight victory of the pre-season, defeating the Okotoks Oilers 6-5 at the Centennial Arena on Saturday.

Ethan Barwick made 19 saves for the win, while Fink had three points (1 goal and two assists), and the Bandits powerplay scored three times.

Bandits forward Nathan Free opened the scoring on the powerplay, sniping a right circle after a cross-ice pass from Elliot Dutil 8:39 into the 1st period. Fink (Wisconsin) doubled the Brooks lead to 2-0 at 18:12 on the man advantage, finishing off a net-front pass from linemate Hunter Wallace (RPI). Shots in the 1st were 7-5 Oilers.

Forward Hudson Malinoski (Providence) sniped a left circle shot into the top right corner of Parker Sawka’s net just 2:49 into the 2nd on the powerplay to triple the Bandit lead to 3-0. Brooks went up 4-0 at 8:41 when forward Brendan Mairs knocked in his own rebound. However, Okotoks responded at 9:04 and 9:31 on back to back goals from Brody Spencer-Ha and Jagger Tapper to cut the Brooks lead to 4-2. Shots were 12-9 Brooks in the 2nd.

Okotoks forward Austin Reschny made it 4-3 at 9:10, cleaning up a rebound. But the Bandits would get one back, as Wallace one-timed a Fink pass from the right circle to make it 5-3 Brooks. However, Hunter Sawka and Dean Spak would answer at 10:44 and 13:28 with back-to-back goals to tie the game and force overtime. Shots were 8-7 Oilers in the 3rd.

Shots in the overtime were 2-0 Brooks, and 27-24 overall. Each team had a breakaway opportunity but were unable to capitalize.

In the shootout, Free and Fink both scored, while the Oilers failed to convert on any of their tries.

The rematch with the Oilers goes Sunday, September 4 at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks. Game time is 4:00 pm and will be live on hockeytv.com.