Oilers take season opener from Bandits, 4-2 in Okotoks

OKOTOKS, AB (September 15, 2017) — Goals from three different rookies were the difference as the Okotoks Oilers (1-0) handed the Brooks Bandits (0-1) a loss in their season opener Friday night in Okotoks.

For the second straight year, the Oilers opened the season with a win over the Bandits, beating Brooks 4-2 at Pason Centennial Arena in front of 673 fans.

Brooks was led by rookie blueliner Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB), who scored both of its goals on slap shots from the point.

The Bandits capitalized on a five-on-three powerplay exactly eight minutes into the first period, as Bast blasted one past Oiler netminder Riley Morris. However, Okotoks responded with a powerplay goal of their own, as Nick Blakenburg was successful on a one-timer from the left circle, beating Bandit starter Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON).

The Oilers offense continued to produce in the second period. Kaleb Ergang stripped a Bandit defender of the puck at the Okotoks blue line and scored unassisted on a breakaway early in the frame, and Marc Pasemko took care of a rebound at the 11:31 mark to make it 3-1.

Early in the third, Okotoks took a 4-1 lead after Austin Wong found a loose puck in front of the Bandit net and scored top-shelf.

Bast added another powerplay goal with 1:38 left in regulation, but that's as close as Brooks would get.

The Bandits Home Opener is Saturday night at the Centennial Regional Arena in a rematch against the Oilers. The game will raise thousands of dollars for local minor hockey

In addition to the game, the Bandits will host a tailgate party in the Centennial Regional Arena parking lot, rain or shine, featuring free food, games, and a bouncy castle for the kids courtesy of Maximum Adventure Park.

All minor hockey kids will be eligible to get in for just $2 per ticket.

Prior to puck drop, the Bandits will introduce their entire 2017-18 roster, and unveil their four championship banners from the 2016-17 season.

Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.