GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB (February 12, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (42-7-2) scored early, and very, very often, en route to their biggest win of the season at Revolution Place in Grande Prairie on Friday night, in a 12-0 win over the host Storm.
The win was the Bandits’ largest margin of victory of the season, eclipsing the previous mark of 10 set in their New Year’s Day 12-2 win over Olds. The Bandits also extended their division lead over the Camrose Kodiaks in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South division to 18 points, and now can clinch the division simply by not losing their remaining 9 games consecutively.
Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) opened the scoring at the 3:13 mark, skating out from behind the net, cutting to the slot and backhanding a puck past Storm goalie Arik Weersink for the eventual game-winning goal.
Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) added the second just over two minutes later, on a cross-crease setup by Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB). The goal made Cockrell the first 30-goal scorer for the Bandits since Anthony Petruzzelli and Mark Reners completed the feat in 2012-13.
Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) finished a backdoor feed from Shane Bear (Calgary, AB) at the 6:56 mark for a 3-0 lead, while rookie Matteo Aiello (Calgary, AB) jammed in a backhand from the side of the Storm net at the 9:44 mark for a 4-0 advantage.
In the second, the Bandits converted on their first power play of the game 6:58 in when Bear skated in from the blue line and wired a shot past Weersink for a 5-0 lead. At the 13:28 mark, Kyler Nachtigall (Calgary, AB) scored on a wraparound, while Prkusic added his second of the game at 14:50 on a turnaround wrist shot from the side of the Storm net that snuck in short side.
At 15:03, on power play number two, Landon Welykholowa (Calgary, AB) was found alone in the slot for a one-timer goal just 6 seconds into the man advantage, while Tristan Thompson made it a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play with a shot from the right faceoff circle at the 17:30 mark, for a 9-0 Bandit advantage after two.
In the third, a shorthanded two on one rush saw Foo feed Cockrell at the right circle perfectly, but Cockrell returned the pass back across for a one-timer by Foo and a 10-0 Brooks lead. At the 11:51 mark, Cockrell recorded his second of the game and 31st of the season on a long wrist shot from the high slot through a screen, while Logan Mick (Vernon, BC) added the 12th goal and fourth man-advantage marker at 16:14 on a one-timer from the slot.
In all, 15 of 18 Bandit skaters recorded at least one point. Brooks went 4 for 5 on the power play and a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, outshooting the Storm 51-24 in the game.
The Bandits head to Whitecourt for a Saturday night matchup at the Scott Safety Centre, to follow up a thrilling 4-3 overtime win over the Wolverines in Brooks earlier this season. Puck drop is at 7:30 with pre-game coverage beginning at 7:15 on the Bandits’ radio home, Q105.7.