Hughes scores hat trick, ties team goal record, as Bandits double Kodiaks 6-3 on Sunday

BROOKS, AB (January 23, 2022) – TJ Hughes scored a hat trick and tied a team record for most goals in a season as the Brooks Bandits doubled the Camrose Kodiaks 6-3 on Sunday at the Centennial Regional Arena for the team’s 21st straight home win.

Hughes became the second Bandit in team history to score 49 goals in a season, tying Jeff Marler’s record from the 2000-01 season that stood for over two decades. Hughes is one goal from breaking the record and becoming the first Bandit to score 50 in a season. It was Hughes fourth hat trick of the season.

The Bandits (41-3-1) haven’t lost at home since September 18.

After a scoreless opening 15 minutes, Hughes (Mercyhurst) opened the scoring at 15:25, winning a neutral zone faceoff and carrying to the right circle, firing in a shot that made it 1-0 Brooks. The Bandits doubled their lead to 2-0 at 17:37 as forward Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) one-timed a Hughes pass from behind the net. However the Kodiaks got one back with 18 seconds left in the period, as forward Owen Dean one-timed a bottom left circle shot to cut the lead to 2-1. But with 3.5 seconds left in the period, Brooks forward Brendan Mairs drove the puck to the net, and while he was stopped by Kodiaks starter Logan Wilcott, Hughes cleaned up the rebound to make it 3-1 Bandits. Shots were 15-7 Bandits in the period.

Brooks was on the powerplay early in the 2nd, and forward Dario Beljo was denied on a breakaway chance, but sent the puck from behind the net back in front, tipping off a Camrose defenders skate and into the net to make it 4-1 Brooks at 3:27. Bandits starter Ethan Barwick denied Griffin Fraser on a breakaway to preserve the lead, but the Kodiaks didn’t go away quietly. Fraser tipped in a point shot at 9:12 to make it 4-2, followed by a Carson Whyte goal at 16:53 where he scored off a left wing rush to make it 4-3. Shots in the period were even 8-8.

Hughes completed the hat trick at 13:39 of the third, forcing a Kodiak turnover at their blueline and going forehand, backhand, forehand and sliding the puck into the net to make it 5-3. McAllister sealed the victory at 18:04, sniping a left circle shot for his 98th point of the season to make it 6-3. McAllister is one point away from tying the team record for most points in a season (99). Shots in the 3rd were 8-4 Brooks and 31-19 overall.

The Bandits head on the road this week for three games, beginning on Wednesday (Jan 26) in Camrose for a rematch with the Kodiaks at 7:00 pm. Then, they visit the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Friday (Jan 28) for a 7:30 pm puck drop, and finish with a Saturday (Jan 29) stop in Bonnyville at 7:00 pm.

Every game can be heard live on Real Country 105.7 FM.