BROOKS, AB (September 23, 2023) – It was a four-point weekend at home for the Brooks Bandits thanks to a 4-3 nailbiter win over the Whitecourt Wolverines on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.
A 3rd period powerplay goal from rookie forward Logan Sawyer broke a 3-3 tie, while Brendan Holahan (New Canaan, CT) made 19 saves for his first regular season win as the Bandits (4-1) hung on for the win in front of 1,113 fans.
Danylo Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) opened the scoring at 7:15, one-timing a behind-the-net pass from defenceman Luke Marshall (Saskatoon,SK) to make it 1-0. But Whitecourt tied the game at 13:55 as Jalen Bianchet scored off the rush. Shots were 14-6 Brooks in the period.
Brooks took the lead at 4:10 of the 2nd period, as defenceman Mathieu Taillefer (Lake Newell, AB) scored his goal of his AJHL career, backhanding a shot off the rush. Then on an offensive zone face-off, centre Nic DeGraves (Edmonton,AB) won the draw to winger Hunter Wallace (Oak Lake, MB), who then one-timed the puck into the top corner to make it 3-1 at 12:18.
Just 51 seconds into the 3rd period, defenceman Ethan Beyer (Centennial, CO) had scored on a backhander to make it 4-1. However, the goal was called off, as there were coincidental penalties on the play. Whitecourt gained momentum, as Bianchet scored another at 2:32 to cut the lead to 3-2. Less than a minute later, the Wolverines tied the game 3-3 on a Rodion Tatarenko goal off a rebound. The Wolverines got into penalty trouble, putting Brooks on a 5-on-3 powerplay, which Sawyer would then score on a one-timer from the right circle to make it 4-3, which they would ride to the final buzzer. Shots were 38-22 Bandits.
The Bandits are back in action on Wednesday, September 27th when they face the Wolverines in a rematch at the 2023 AJHL Showcase at the Max Bell Centre in Calgary. Game time is 2:00 pm.