DRUMHELLER, AB (October 27, 2017) – The Brooks Bandits (12-4-1) fell behind early, but stormed back with four consecutive goals, beating the Drumheller Dragons (10-6-1) by a 4-3 score at the Drumheller Memorial Arena on Friday night.
The win gives the Bandits a four-point lead on Drumheller for second place in the AJHL South, though they remain three points back of first place Okotoks with the Oilers holding two games in hand.
Drumheller opened the scoring with two goals in the span of 35 seconds. The first came when an Andrew Kartusch point shot produced a rebound that Nate Keeley was credited for tapping in, and the second a tipped shot by Joren Patenaude off a faceoff knocked home by Tyson Scott.
But the Bandits got on the board before the period was out when Brandon Scanlin (Stoney Creek, ON) fired a point shot through traffic into the Drumheller net for his second goal of his Junior A career.
In the second, a Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) power play point shot at the 7:48 mark was deflected in past Dragon goalie Hunter Virostek on a tip by Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) to tie the game heading into the third period.
Just 3:35 into the final frame, a point shot by Jakob LaPointe (Calgary, AB) produced a rebound that Vachon tapped in for the Bandits’ first lead of the night, and LaPointe’s first point as a Brooks Bandit.
At 9:03, Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) fired a shot off the rush by Virostek, picking the top left corner for a goal that ended up being vital, as just 47 seconds later Jacob Bayne floated a point shot over the glove hand of Bandit goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) to bring the Dragons within 1.
But the Bandits withstood a late Drumheller charge to hold on for the regulation win, setting up a key rematch on Saturday night at the Centennial Regional Arena. The team will debut its new third jerseys, hold its annual Pumpkin Auction, and give away prizes to fans dressed in their best Halloween costumes, with puck drop set for 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.