Penalty kill perfect once again, Bandits one win away from AJHL Final following 5-3 win in Game 3

Photo credit: RHCphoto / Rob Raincock

April 11, 2023 (BLACKFALDS, AB) – The Brooks Bandits successfully killed off five penalties, while never trailing in a 5-3 win over the Blackfalds Bulldogs on Tuesday night at the Eagle Builders Centre.

The Bandits lead the Best-of-Seven South Division Final 3 games to 0, and are one win away from advancing to their eighth AJHL Final. Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) made 19 saves for the win.

Game 4 of the series is Wednesday, April 12th, in Blackfalds at 7:00 pm. Listen live on Real Country 105.7 FM.

Brooks opened the scoring at 4:25 of the 1st period, as Heath Armstrong (Calgary, AB) drove to the net up the left wing and tucked the puck underneath Bulldogs starter Matthew Hennessey to make it 1-0. Blackfalds tied the game at 6:54 on a rebound goal from Otto Hanson. However, with 7:44 left in the period, the Bulldogs turned the puck over in their own end, with the puck deflecting off Hudson Malinoski’s (Saskatoon, SK) skate and right to Aiden Fink (Calgary, AB), who scored from the net front to make it 2-1.

The Bulldogs tied the game at 2:34 of the 2nd period on a goal as Connor Dick, but Brooks didn’t take long to reclaim the lead. Forward Jordan Hughesman (Winnipeg, MB) beat the defender wide on a carry-in and shelved a shot to make it 3-2 Brooks. Then at 13:12 on the powerplay, Fink scored his second, one-timing a shortside shot courtesy of a Hunter Wallace (Oak Lake, MB) pass from behind the net to make it 4-2.

Forward Nathan Free (Calgary, AB) sniped a shot off zone-entry, using a Blackfalds defender as a screen to make it 5-2 Bandits at 9:31 of the 3rd period. The Bulldogs got one back at 15:43 on a Kasey Hiemstra goal after driving to the net, but that’s as close as they would get despite pulling their goalie for the extra attacker. Final shots were 34-22 Brooks.