BROOKS, AB (March 19, 2022) – Devin Phillips scored five points on the same night he was named the recipient of the Nick Crosby Memorial Award as the Brooks Bandits won a wild 8-5 Game 2 over the Canmore Eagles on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The Bandits lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Prior to the game, Bob and Wendy Crosby presented Phillips with the award, which was made in their son Nick’s honour following his passing in 2011.
In a fitting start, Phillips (Holy Cross) opened the scoring, one-timing a Zach Bookman (Merrimack) pass from the right circle to make it 1-0 just 33 seconds into the game. But Canmore would tie and take the lead thanks to a breakaway goal from Vincent Scott at 3:24 and Dylan Bidyk marker at 9:04 that saw him clean up a loose puck in the slot to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead, their first advantage in the series. The Bandits responded, as forward Brendan Mairs finished off a net front pass from defenceman Boston Buckberger (Wisconsin) at 9:04 to make it 2-2. But the Eagles reclaimed the lead on the powerplay, as forward Kyle Young cleaned up loose puck in the Bandit crease after starter Ethan Barwick lost sight of it, and gave Canmore a 3-2 lead. Barwick was pulled from the game, Max Beckford came in as relief. Less than a minute later, forward Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) sniped a right circle shot to tie the game 3-3, and with 2:22 left in the period, forward Brendan Poshak (Northern Michigan) tipped in a shorthanded two-on-one rush pass from Nic DeGraves to give the Bandits a 4-3 lead. Shots in the 1st were 20-6 Brooks.
Captain Ethan Lund continued the Bandits scoring at 4:09 of the 2nd on a wrist shot from the left circle to make it 5-3. Then on the powerplay, forward TJ Hughes (Michigan) at 12:51 cleaned up a loose puck on the right side of the net to increase the lead to 6-3. Scott would get one back for the Eagles at 14:29, scoring on a breakaway to cut the lead to 6-4. Shots in the 2nd were 24-5 Brooks, with Canmore starter Matthew Malin making 22 saves in the frame.
Scott scored again at 7:55 into the 3rd on a wrist shot from the slot to get the Eagles within one. But at 9:27, Hughes would get his own rebound, knocking in the goal to make it 7-5. With 18 seconds remaining, McAllister would seal it with an empty net goal. Shots in the 3rd were 20-5 Bandits, for a total of 64-16.
Game 3 of the series is Tuesday (Mar 22) in Canmore. Game time is 7:00 pm and can be heard on Real Country 105.7 FM. Game 4 is Wednesday (Mar 23), also in Canmore at 7:00 pm.