BROOKS, AB (September 16, 2022) – Hudson Malinoski scored twice, and the Brooks Bandits won their 2022 Season Opener 5-1 over the Calgary Canucks on Friday at the CRA in front of 1,385 fans on Banner Night.
Prior the game, the Bandits raised four banners to the CRA rafters, including 2021-22 Regular Season Champions, South Division Champions, AJHL Champions and Centennial Cup Champions. Goaltender Ethan Barwick (Lindenwood) made 18 saves for the win.
Malinoski (Providence) scored the first goal of the season, finishing off a behind the net pass from Dario Beljo (AIC), and backhanding into the Canuck net at 4:53. Shots in the 1st were 13-5 Brooks.
Canucks forward Zephyr Laplante scored on a forehand shot on a partial breakaway at 3:34 to tie the game 1-1 in the 2nd period. Bandits forward Ethan Dekay (Michigan Tech) sniped his 1st AJHL goal at 18:41, scoring off the rush after Brooks killed off a penalty. Shots in the 2nd were even 8-8.
Brooks opened up the 3rd period with Malinoski ripping a shot post and in for his 2nd of the game to make it 3-1 Bandits. Then, forward Heath Armstrong fired in a left circle shot setup by Caelan Fitzpatrick (Niagara) at 8:19 to make it 4-1. Finally, rookie forward Nathan Free (Penn State) sniped his 1st career AJHL goal at 10:43 to make it 5-1, the final. Shots in the 16-6 in the 3rd and 37-19 overall.
The Bandits first road game of the regular season is Saturday, September 17, when they visit the Drumheller Dragons. Game time is 7:00 pm, the broadcast with Nathan Crosby and Ken Fleury begins at 6:45 pm. It can also be viewed on HockeyTV.
Photo: Matt Vossopoel