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Penalty kill once again goes 8/8 as Bandits open AJHL Showcase with win over Thunder

BLACKFALDS, AB (September 29, 2022) – For the 2nd straight game, the penalty kill went 8/8, Elliot Dutil scored twice and the Brooks Bandits downed the Drayton Valley Thunder 5-2 at the Eagle Builder’s Centre on Thursday at the 2022 AJHL Showcase.

Ethan Barwick (Lindenwood) made 24 saves for this AJHL-leading 5th win, as the Bandits improved to 5-1-1 on the season.

Dutil (Lindenwood) opened the scoring at 5:40, cleaning up a loose puck in the crease to make it 1-0. The Bandits doubled their lead to 2-0 at 16:43 as forward Brendan Mairs slid a backhand, five-hole shot into the Thunder net. Shots were 9-6 Brooks in the 1st.

The Bandits tripled their lead to 3-0 at 3:21 of the 2nd, as Dutil got his own rebound and beat Drayton Valley starter Colin Reay. The Thunder got one back at 15:59, as Hayden Fechner scored. Shots were 9-7 Brooks in the 2nd.

Just 23 seconds into the 3rd, forward Hunter Wallace (RPI) scored, finishing off an Aiden Fink (Wisconsin) drive to the net to give Brooks a 4-1 lead. The Thunder’s Gavin Middendorf scored top shelf on a two-on-one rush at 16:50 to cut the Bandit lead to 4-2, but Fink scored an empty netter with 1 second left to make it a 5-2 Bandits win. Final shots were 26-24 Drayton Valley.

The Bandits next game is Friday, September 30, when they face the Fort McMurray Oil Barons at the Showcase. Game time is 4:30 pm, with the Bandits broadcast live on Real Country 105.7 FM and HockeyTV.