SHERWOOD PARK, AB (October 7, 2017) – The Brooks Bandits (6-4) fell behind 31 seconds into the game, and faced a 2 goal deficit before the game was 7 minutes old. But the team rebounded to sweep its northern road swing with a 6-3 victory over the Crusaders in Sherwood Park on Saturday night.
Matt Cassidy (Medford, NJ) had his first two goals as a Bandit, including the game-winner and game-sealing empty netter, while Cale List (Petawawa, ON) scored a highlight reel breakaway backhander for his first in a Brooks uniform as well.
The opening shift put the Bandits behind when leading scorer Ty Readman tapped in a goal backdoor from the right side of the net 31 seconds in. The Crusaders doubled the lead at the 6:26 mark when defenceman Tyler Pang scored on a high shot from the left corner. But less than a minute later, the Bandits got on the board when a Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) point shot produced a rebound for Orca Wiesblatt (Calgary, AB) to backhand past a sprawling Brandon Vogel to cut the deficit in half.
At the 13:59 mark, the Bandits erased the deficit, but were witness to a scary scene as Tyler Carangelo (Hamden, CT) scored on a wrist shot from the right circle but was immediately hit in the head by Crusader defenceman Ben McLeod, fell to the ice, and had to be stretchered off the ice by attending EMTs.
When play resumed, the teams were 4-on-4 for 2 minutes as the head-check major to Ben McLeod offset with an instigator minor to Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) who fought him after the hit, with both teams scoring in the span of just 15 seconds.
First, Readman shot in his second of the game five-hole on Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) on a breakaway to reclaim the Crusader lead, but on the ensuing shift List dangled his way from the high slot to the front of the net, and pulled off a nifty forehand-to-backhand move, flipping the puck over Vogel and into the net to tie it 3-3 heading into the first intermission.
The Bandits were the only team to score in a much tighter-played second period, when Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB) centered the puck from the left corner to Cassidy in the slot for a quick one-timer goal to make it 4-3 Brooks.
In the third, the Bandits found themselves on three consecutive penalty kills, but broke through shorthanded when Cesana fired a wrister from the right circle off the left post and in, giving Brooks its first two-goal lead of the night.
Sherwood Park pulled its goalie late, but turned the puck over to Cassidy in their own end. He found Louis Jamernik (Calgary, AB) who returned the pass to Cassidy in the slot, and the Bandit newcomer slid the puck into the open cage to notch the 6-3 final score.
The Bandits outshot the Crusaders 28-22 in the game, going 0 for 2 on the power play and a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill.
Brooks returns home to take on the Olds Grizzlys in a special Monday afternoon Thanksgiving Day game at the Centennial Regional Arena at 4:00 PM. Tickets for fans under 18 years old are free, with a free Skate with the Bandits after the game. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.