McAllister completes hat trick with overtime winner in Game 2 to tie AJHL Final in instant classic

BROOKS, AB (April 30, 2022) – The Brooks Bandits erased three different deficits and Ryan McAllister scored a hat trick including the game winner in a 4-3 dramatic win over the Spruce Grove Saints in Game 2 of the AJHL Final on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Nic DeGraves scored a game-tying goal with 6:07 left in the 3rd to force overtime, which only lasted 2:13 before McAllister sent a hysterical crowd of 1,801 to their feet on a one-timer setup from TJ Hughes. Brooks tied the AJHL Inter Pipeline Cup Best-of-Seven Final 1-1, with Games 3 and 4 scheduled for Tuesday (May 3) and Wednesday (May 4) in Spruce Grove. Game time for both games is 7:00 pm and can be heard on Real Country 105.7 FM.

Game 5 is Saturday, May 7 in Brooks at 7:00 pm.

The Saints opened the scoring at 15:03 of the 1st, as Liam Watkins shot from the corner and scored to make it 1-0. Barwick (Lindenwood) stopped Jayden Davis in the dying seconds on a breakaway chance. Shots were 13-6 Brooks in the period, but they were unable to solve Saints netminder Tristan Martin.

McAllister (Western Michigan) tied the game just 32 seconds into the 2nd, shooting from the high slot off a face-off win and making it 1-1. Barwick stopped another Saints breakaway, this time denying Luigi Benincasa. Shots in the 2nd were 17-5 Saints.

Spruce Grove reclaimed the lead at 9:30 in the 3rd on the powerplay, as defenceman Breck McKinley shot the puck off the glass and off Barwick into the net to make it 2-1. But 30 seconds later, McAllister cleaned up a rebound off the end board on a Josh Zinger (Northern Michigan) shot to tie the game 2-2. However, at 11:54 Logan Acheson of the Saints one-timed a shot to give his team a 3-2 lead. But Brooks would get a powerplay and tie it up again. DeGraves fired in a backhand shot from the left circle on a pass from Dario Beljo (AIC) to make it 3-3. Shots in the 3rd were 11-7 Brooks.

For the second time in these playoffs, Brooks needed overtime. And for the second time, they came out on top in overtime. McAllister fired in a cross-circle pass from Hughes (Michigan) just 2:13 to give Brooks the come-from-behind win, 4-3 the final. Shots in overtime were 3-1 Brooks and 32-31 favouring the Bandits.