Free and Sawyer each score twice as Bandits open October with 8-0 win over Thunder

Photo credit: Davin Beer

BROOKS, AB (October 6, 2023) – Johnny Hicks picked up his second shutout of the season, as the Brooks Bandits scored a season-high eight goals in a 8-0 victory over the Drayton Valley Thunder on Friday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

The Bandits (7-1) have won five straight games, and 21 consecutive vs the Thunder. Hicks stopped all 16 shots he faced.

The 1st period was scoreless, with Brooks outshooting Drayton Valley 11-3, with heavy pressure on Thunder goaltender Cameron Doucette.

Brooks broke through in the 2nd period, as forward Danylo Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) scored on a backhand drive to the Thunder net at 1:10 to make it 1-0. Brooks doubled the lead at 10:14, as Jordan Hughesman (Winnipeg, MB) scored off the rush from a Nathan Free (Calgary, AB) pass to make it 2-0. The Thunder had thought they had scored, but Hicks (Kamloops, BC) was interfered with after making a save while the puck slid into the net. Brooks tripled the lead at 15:14 as Logan Sawyer (Calgary, AB) tapped in a pass from Josh Wiebe (Calgary, AB), which was Wiebe’s first AJHL point to make it 3-0. Shots were 10-6 for Brooks.

Caelan Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) cleaned up a loose puck on a net front scramble at 3:18 of the 3rd period to make it 4-0 Brooks. Just 17 seconds later, Sawyer finished off another pass from Wiebe to make it 5-0. On the penalty kill at 4:53, forward Hunter Wallace (Oak Lake, MB) scored off the rush for the first shorthanded goal of the season for Brooks, which was Wallace’s team-leading sixth goal. With under three minutes to play, Free scored back to back goals on the powerplay to ice the 8-0 win. Final shots were 37-16 Bandits.

Brooks continue their homestand on Monday, October 9th when they host the Fort McMurray Oil Barons at the CRA. Game time is 4:00 pm.