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Thunder hang on for the win as Bandits fall just short in Halloween rematch

BROOKS, AB (October 31, 2020) ? It came right down to the last seconds, but despite a frantic finish, the Brooks Bandits (6-2) were unable to find the tying goal, falling 3-2 at home to the Drayton Valley Thunder (6-1) Saturday night at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Bandits forward Sean Chisholm was denied on a last second chance on a pad save from Thunder goaltender Jackson Berry, who made 33 saves in the win, avenging a 6-0 loss to Brooks the night before.

The Thunder got on the board first, as forward Colson Gengenbach finished off a 2-on-1 passing play just 77 seconds into the game. Then, with under 8 minutes to go in the period, the Thunder banged in loose puck in front of the Bandit net to go up 2-0. The Bandits would respond with just over 3 minutes left in the 1st, as forward Sean Chisholm (Halifax, NS) one-timed a pass from behind the net from Ryan McAllister (London, ON) to cut the Drayton Valley lead to 2-1. Brooks outshot the Thunder 12-9 in the period.

Drayton Valley went up 3-1 with just over 5 minutes to go in the 2nd period. Bandits starter Jared Whale (Calgary, AB) left the game as Ethan Barwick came in relief. The Thunder won an offensive zone faceoff, shooting on Barwick (St. Albert, AB), who made the save, but Gengenbach found the loose puck and slid it underneath the goalie to give the Thunder a 3-1 lead.

Brooks would get within a goal in the 3rd, as forward Thomas Cusson (Cowansville, QC) fired in a shot from the right circle on a dump-in from defenceman Nick Traggio (Sharon, CT) to make it 3-2 Drayton with just over 6 minutes left in the 3rd. The Bandits tried to tie in the final seconds with their net empty and on the powerplay, but despite the frantic push, couldn?t find the equalizer. Final shots were 35-23 Brooks.

The Bandits next game is Friday, November 6th, when they travel to Drumheller to face the Dragons at the Memorial Arena. Game time is 7:00 PM, with live coverage on Real Country 105.7 FM.

Photo: Bryan Wilson