Pharmasave Weekend Preview: Bandits host Oilers on Saturday, visit Calgary on Sunday

Bandits weekend preview, presented by Pharmasave

By Nathan Crosby

BROOKS, AB (March 19, 2021) – The Brooks Bandits (4-0) head into the 2nd weekend of the AJHL’s Return to Play riding a 4-game winning streak and sit 1st in the Viterra South Division standings. They’ll face the same two teams in their cohort they played last weekend, but in different settings.

The Bandits will host the Okotoks Oilers (4-1) on Sat, Mar 20 (7:00 PM), and travel to Calgary on Sun, Mar 21 to face the Canucks (0-4) at the Ken Bracko Arena at Max Bell Centre (2:00 PM). Spectators are currently not allowed at AJHL games due to government restrictions.

With the opening weekend now in the rear-view mirror, players are starting to settle into their routines.

Forward Sean Chisholm has yet to be held off the scoresheet in a game this season (including the Exhibition games in the 2020 Developmental Season). The Dartmouth commit is 5th in league scoring (3G, 5A) having played just 4 regular season games.

His teammate Devin Phillips was robbed of a goal in the opening game, but redemption happened the next night for the Holy Cross commit vs the Oilers, when he finished off a 2 on 1 rush pass from Robert Morris commit TJ Hughes for the game’s first goal.

Speaking of Hughes, he’s riding a 4 game point streak heading into the weekend.

Newcomers Brendan Mairs, Dario Beljo and Anthony Cipollone are coming off a strong outing in Okotoks, highlighted by Mair’s first AJHL goal, which was the game winner.

Goaltender Ethan Barwick had one of his strongest starts as a Brooks Bandit, stopping 26 of 27 shots on Sat, Mar 13th in a 5-1 win over the Oilers. He’s 3-0 this season.

Okotoks has played since meeting Brooks, having won a 6-4 decision on Sun, Mar 14th in Calgary.

The Bandits head to the Max Bell on Sunday to face a Canucks team that’s still searching for their first win. In the opening match-up, Brooks skated to a 4-2 victory on Mar 12th, but the Canucks pushed back in the late stages of the game, aided by a strong 40 saves performance by goaltender Adam Dmyterko. Brooks rookie goaltender Jared Whale won his 1st regular season start as a Brooks Bandit, and was boosted by his team sporting brand new black third jerseys.

St. Lawrence-commit Chris Pappas has put up big numbers vs the Canucks in his Bandit career, with 15 pts (6G, 9A) in 7 games vs Calgary, including a 2 goal performance most recently on Mar 12 that earned him the Montana’s BBQ & Bar Bandits Player of the Game.

Meanwhile, centre Owen Cole is over a point/game pace this year, with 5 points (1G, 4A) in 4 games. The future UMass-Lowell River Hawk is one of two ’00 born players on the Bandits (the other being Pappas).

Brooks has won 18 consecutive games vs the Canucks, dating back to Nov 30, 2018. Calgary will face Okotoks on Friday night (Mar 19th) while the Bandits will wait until Saturday to play.

Bandits Weekend Schedule:

Fri, Mar 19 (no game)

Sat, Mar 20 vs Okotoks Oilers (7:00 PM, Centennial Regional Arena)

Sun, Mar 21 @ Calgary Canucks (2:00 PM, Ken Bracko Arena at Max Bell Centre)

Listen: Real Country 105.7 FM