BROOKS, AB (MARCH, 2023) – Caelan Fitzpatrick scored the go-ahead goal late in the 3rd period as the Brooks Bandits completed a 3-2 comeback win over the Okotoks Oilers in Game 1 of the AJHL South Division Semi-Final in front of over 1,500 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena on Friday night.
Hudson Malinoski erased a 2-1 deficit early in the 3rd period by tying the game to cue the comeback. The Bandits lead the Best-of-Seven series 1-0.
Defenceman Wes Turner (Granite Bay, CA) opened the scoring at 12:00 of the 1st period, deking around an Oilers defender and shelving his first of the playoffs to make it 1-0 Bandits. The Oilers tied the game with 21 seconds left in the frame, as forward Sam Huck tipped in a Conyr Hellyer pass to make it 1-1.
After a mostly scoreless 2nd period, the Oilers scored their first powerplay goal of the season vs Brooks, as Ty Yoder roofed a puck into Barwick’s net to give Okotoks a 2-1 lead.
Malinoski (Saskatoon, SK) tied the game at 4:12 of the 3rd period, wristing a drop pass from Aiden Fink (Calgary, AB) that beat Oilers goaltender Parker Sawka to make it 2-2. Then at 16:10, forward Brendan Poshak (Green Bay, WI) won an offensive zone faceoff draw to Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK), who roofed the puck to give Brooks the 3-2 lead. Okotoks emptied the net for the extra attacker, but were unable to tie.
Game 2 of the series is Saturday, March 24th at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks. Game time is 7:00 pm.
Prior to the game, the Nick Crosby Memorial Award Ceremony will be held with special guests Bob and Wendy Crosby.