Hughes scores game winner, Bandits edge Dragons 3-2 in final game before Christmas

BROOKS, AB (December 18, 2021) – TJ Hughes broke a 2-2 tie in the 3rd period with his AJHL-leading 37th goal of the year, and the Brooks Bandits beat the Drumheller Dragons 3-2 on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena, the team’s 13th straight win.

Brooks hasn’t lost in regulation in 33 straight games, as they head into the Christmas break with the best record in the Alberta Junior Hockey League at (33-1-1). The Bandits outshot the Dragons 41-14.

Photo: Em Duncan


Drumheller opened the scoring 10:42 into the game on the powerplay, as forward Myles Hilman took a pass from the point and scored from the left circle to make it 1-0. Bandits forward Jack Seymour had a chance to tie on a penalty shot, but was denied by Dragons goaltender Eric Ward, who made 38 saves in the game. Shots in the 1st were 13-3 Brooks.

The Bandits only needed 38 seconds of the 2nd to tie the game, as defenceman Ethan Lund (Niagara) poked in a loose puck in the crease off a Hughes chance to make it 1-1. But Drumheller would retake the lead as Hilman would get past a Bandit defender and score on a in-tight shot to make it 2-1 at 2:01. Brooks would get a powerplay two minutes later, as defenceman Zach Bookman (Merrimack) one-timed a left circle pass from Hughes to tie the game 2-2. Shots were 15-5 Brooks in the 2nd.

The Hughes go-ahead goal at 14:24, as the Mercyhurst commit went top shelf on a behind-the-net pass from Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) to give Brooks a 3-2 lead. Drumheller would pull Ward for the extra attacker but failed to get the equalizer. Shots in the 3rd were 13-6 Brooks.