BROOKS, AB (January 24, 2020) – The Brooks Bandits (39-5-1) got back in the win column on Friday night thanks to a 2-1 nailbiter over the Bonnyville Pontiacs at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Goaltender Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) starred in net, stopping 29 of 30 shots for his league leading 31st win of the season. Forward Chris Pappas (Toronto, ON) scored the game winner with 1:13 left in regulation to break the 1-1 score. Bonnyville goaltender Easton Hesse made 37 saves in the loss.
The first period was scoreless, with the Bandits outshooting the Pontiacs 14-10.
Just 79 seconds into the second, Brooks scored. Forward Devin Phillips (Raleigh, North Carolina) cleaned up a loose puck off a Pappas chance to make it 1-0.
Bonnyville tied the game at 12:26 as Thomas Kramer scored from behind the goal line, deflected the puck off a player and into the Bandit net.
Late in the period, Pontiacs forward Reilly Connors was given a 5 minute major for kneeing Bandit forward Brayden Krieger and given a game misconduct. Krieger would stay in the game.
Then, with 1:13 left in regulation. Pappas waited out Hesse and scored on the backhand, send the crowd of 1,319 to their feet to give Brooks the 2-1 advantage, which held until the buzzer. Final shots were 39-30 Bandits.
It was Brooks 52nd straight regular season home win, as they stay perfect at home this season.
Next up for the Bandits is a date with the Sherwood Park Crusaders, who visit the CRA for the only time in the regular season on Saturday (Jan 25). The game is presented by the Brooks Bombers and will start at 7:00 PM.
Photo: Em Duncan