BROOKS, AB (October 20, 2023) – Caelan Fitzpatrick completed a natural hat trick just 20 minutes and 24 seconds into the game as the Brooks Bandits blanked the Drumheller Dragons 5-0 on Friday at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) had a four-point game, while Hunter Wallace (Oak Lake, MB) and Mirko Buttazzoni (Langley, BC) also scored goals. Goaltender Johnny Hicks (Kamloops, BC) made 17 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, which was the Bandits fifth overall.
Brooks opened the scoring at 9:15 of the 1st period, as Fitzpatrick forced a Dragons turnover at the Bandits blueline while Drumheller was on a powerplay, he proceeded to score forehand on a breakaway to make it 1-0. Fitzpatrick scored again at 14:30, tipping a Logan Sawyer (Calgary, AB) shot on the powerplay to make it 2-0. Shots were 11-7 Brooks in the period.
Just 24 seconds into the 2nd period, Fitzpatrick sniped a top corner shot for his third career hat trick as a Bandit to make it 3-0. It was his second unassisted goal of the game. Not long after, Wallace cleaned up a loose puck on a scramble play and scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season at 2:51. With 36 seconds left in the frame, Buttazzoni scored off the rush, taking a cross-ice pass from Danylo Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) and scoring in the bottom right corner. The Bandits outshot the Dragons 13-3.
There was no scoring in the 3rd period. Final shots were 32-17, while the Bandits powerplay went 2/6 and penalty kill went 3/3.
Brooks (12-2) is tied for 1st overall in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Blackfalds Bulldogs.
The rematch with Drumheller goes Saturday night at the CRA, game time is 7:00 pm.