BLACKFALDS, AB (January 12, 2022) – Ryan McAllister scored to break a 3rd period tie with just over two minutes remaining in regulation as the Brooks Bandits beat the Blackfalds Bulldogs 4-3 in a nail biter on Wednesday at Eagle Builders Centre.
The Bandits (38-2-1) swept the six-game season series with the Bulldogs, outscoring the opposition 49-9. Brooks now has 77 points, and are 11 points ahead of Spruce Grove for first overall in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Bandits forward Brendan Poshak (Northern Michigan) opened the scoring 3:42 into the game. After Brooks won an offensive zone draw, defenceman Wes Turner (Holy Cross) carried behind the net, passing in front to Poshak who scored on the forehand to make it 1-0, the only goal of the 1st. Shots were 10-5 Brooks.
The Bulldogs tied up the game 1-1 as forward Brett Meerman redirected a left circle pass at 4:02 of the 2nd. Blackfalds then got their first ever lead on the Bandits at 12:59 as forward Tye Carriere gained the Bandit blue line and scored top left corner to make it 2-1 Bulldogs. However, Blackfalds was called for a double minor for high sticking Bandits defenceman Josh Zinger, and Brooks capitalized with back-to-back powerplay goals. Forward TJ Hughes (Mercyhurst) one-timed a Dario Beljo pass from the bottom of the left circle to tie the game at 14:01, and 13 seconds later, forward Noah Hackett (Niagara) took a forehand shot from the right circle that went five-hole on Bulldogs goaltender Jackson Glassford to give Brooks the 3-2 lead. Shots were 15-8 Bandits in the period.
Hackett had a huge chance to double the lead early in the 3rd on a breakaway chance, but was denied by a Glassford stick save. Following a point shot, Bulldogs forward Carter Yarish would find a loose puck in the Bandits slot and knock into the Brooks net at 17:26 to tie the game 3-3. But just 18 seconds later, McAllister (Western Michigan) cleaned up a Hughes right circle shot to reclaim the Bandit lead at 4-3. Blackfalds pulled Glassford for the extra attacker, but the Bandits drained the remainder of the clock for the win. Shots in the 3rd were 12-5 Brooks and 37-18 overall.
The Bandits return home for two games this weekend. They host the Whitecourt Wolverines on Friday, January 14 at 7:00 pm, followed by a Sunday, January 16 matinee vs the Calgary Canucks, puck drop is 4:00 pm.