DRUMHELLER, AB (March 19, 2018) – The Brooks Bandits had two shorthanded goals, and Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, BC) scored the game-winning goal from the red line, taking Game 3 of their AJHL South Semifinal series 6-1, and taking a three games to none lead in the best of seven.
With the win, the Bandits can now close out the series and qualify for the AJHL South Division Final for the seventh consecutive season by winning Game 4 on Tuesday night.
It took Brooks just 1:42 to open the scoring, when Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB) fired a pass from the left corner to Pierre-Anthony Martineau (Sherbrooke, QC) who fired a quick wrister from the slot past Drumheller netminder Hunter Virostek. Less than two minutes later, Plessis fired a dump-in from centre ice that bounced past Virostek and into the net for an awkward goal that ended up standing up as the game-winner.
The Bandits were sent to the penalty kill three times in the second period, which gave them five total PKs to just one power play in the opening forty minutes. But Brooks ended up adding three goals in the middle frame, including two shorthanded markers.
The first came when Thompson collected the puck at the Bandit blue line and sped ahead with defenceman Jakob LaPointe, firing a pass across for LaPointe to one-time in past Virostek to make it 3-0 Brooks. At even strength, with just over three minutes left in the period, Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) centered a pass from the end wall to Conner Jean (Oakland, MI) in the slot, who wristed a shot by Virostek for a 4-0 lead.
Almost immediately thereafter, Drumheller was sent to another power play when LaPointe was cited for cross-checking. But less than 20 seconds into the PK, Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) sped in on a 2-on-1 and feathered a pass across for Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) to one-time in and make it a 5-0 game.
Drumheller got on the board at 7:32 of the third when Markus Boguslavsky tapped in a rebound after Carson Kurylo had cut to the net front unopposed off an offensive zone faceoff win. But the Bandits capped off the scoring at 14:50 when Ryan Mahshie (Stoney Creek, ON) flung the puck through the crease to Louis Jamernik (Calgary, AB) at the right side of the net, who one-timed it in to notch the 6-1 final score.
The Bandits outshot the Dragons 30-27 in the game, going 0 for 4 on the power play but a perfect 6 for 6 on the penalty kill.
Game 4 is scheduled for 7 o’clock on Tuesday night with the potential for a series sweep for Brooks. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 PM on Real Country 105.7.