BROOKS, AB (April 9, 2016) – For the third time, and for the second consecutive year, the Brooks Bandits and Spruce Grove Saints will meet in the AJHL Final series, beginning on Friday, April 15th in Spruce Grove, it was announced today.
The full schedule, with all games beginning at 7:00 PM, sees the first two games of the Gas Drive Cup Final held at the Grant Fuhr Arena on the 15th and Saturday the 16th, with games three and four at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks on Monday, April 18th and Tuesday, April 19th.
If necessary, Game 5 would be in Spruce Grove on Friday, April 22nd, Game 6 in Brooks on Sunday the 24th, and a decisive seventh game back in Spruce Grove on April 26th.
The series is a rematch of last year’s Gas Drive Cup Final, in which the Saints won the first three games before the Bandits responded with two wins to force a sixth, which the Saints captured in Brooks 2-1 in overtime to deny the Brooks its third league championship.
Both the Bandits and Saints received first-round byes in this year’s AJHL playoffs by virtue of finishing first in their divisions. The Bandits swept the Canmore Eagles and Camrose Kodiaks in best-of-seven series to book their spot in the final, while the Saints swept the Sherwood Park Crusaders and defeated the upcoming RBC Cup host Lloydminster Bobcats in five games to earn theirs.
The Saints have home ice advantage in the series, having finished with the best overall record in the AJHL at 49-7-4. The Bandits were two points behind at 49-9-2. The two teams met three times in the 2015-16 regular season, with the Saints winning 7-1 on October 1st at the annual AJHL Showcase in Camrose, and 2-1 in a shootout in Spruce Grove on October 17th, but the Bandits winning the final meeting 6-1 at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks on December 4th.
Tickets will be available for purchase online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca, by phone at (403) 501-0122, and in-person at the Bandits' office at the Centennial Regional Arena from Tuesday to Thursday, 9 AM to 1 PM.
All games of the 2016 AJHL Gas Drive Cup Final will be broadcast live on the radio home of the Bandits, Q105.7 FM, and q1057.ca, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 each night.
(photos: L: Spruce Grove Saints, R: Em Rose Photography)