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Jesse Pereira commits to Canisius College

BROOKS, AB (January 7, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are proud to announce that 1995-born forward Jesse Pereira (Fort Erie, ON) has committed to attend and play for Canisius College, beginning in the 2016-17 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey season.

Located in Buffalo, New York, the Canisius Golden Griffins play in the NCAA’s Division I Atlantic Hockey conference, under 11th-year head coach Dave Smith. The Griffins have reached the conference’s championship weekend in three consecutive seasons, appearing in the conference title game two straight years, and winning the conference title in 2013, earning an NCAA tournament berth.

“Jesse has played tremendous hockey for us this season,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “His game has improved from last season to a point where he’s a threat to score every night.

“He has an undeniable skill set and is a fantastic person in our dressing room,” the coach added. “We are really excited to see him accomplish his goal of playing Division I hockey and in a perfect situation, close to home at Canisius.”

Pereira, 20, is in his second season with the Bandits, having recorded 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in 35 games. He is currently tied for 14th in the entire AJHL in goal scoring, and tied for eighth in power play goals with 7. He is currently the Bandits’ third-highest goal scorer.

The 5’11”, 185lb forward came to the Bandits last season after two full seasons with his hometown Fort Erie Meteors of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL), where he recorded 80 points (42 goals, 38 assists) in 93 total regular season games.

With the Bandits last season, Pereira dressed in 40 games as a rookie, scoring 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) and dressing in a further 8 playoff games.

“I am honoured to join Canisius for the next four years of my life, to pursue my hockey career as well as my eduation,” said Pereira. “Canisius is as close as you can get to my home town, and being close to home was a key for me.

“Canisius is a hockey-focused program, just like Brooks, which made it easy for me to choose to pursue my dream there,” he added. “I would also like to thank the City of Brooks as well as the Brooks Bandits organization, and more importantly my family; especially my dad.”

Pereira’s commitment brings the number of current Bandit players committed to an NCAA Division I institution to 15, the most of any team in the entire Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), joining:

• Shane Bear (University of Massachusetts)
• Kyler Nachtigall (University of Massachusetts)
• Parker Foo (Union College)
• Tristan Thompson (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)
• Austin Wright (Rochester Institute of Technology)
• Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
• Jeff Malott (Cornell University)
• Joe O’Connor (Quinnipiac University)
• Jared Cockrell (Colgate University)
• Jarrod Gourley (Arizona State University)
• Charlie Marchand (Bentley University)
• Josh McKechney (Colgate University)
• Logan Mick (Quinnipiac University)
• Derek Lodermeier (University of Vermont)

The Bandits will take on their divisional rivals, the Drumheller Dragons, in a home-and-home series beginning tomorrow night in Drumheller at 7:30 PM, followed by a Saturday night home game at the Centennial Regional Arena at 7:00 PM. Both games can be heard on Q105.7 beginning 15 minutes before puck drop.

Tickets for Saturday night’s game are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca, by phone at (403) 501-0122, or in person at the CRA.