BROOKS, AB (October 9, 2017) – The Brooks Bandits (7-4) trailed after the first and second periods, but scored twice in the span of 14 seconds and four times in the final three minutes of the game, en route to their third straight win, 4-1 over the Olds Grizzlys (4-6-1) on Monday afternoon at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The game was a special Thanksgiving Day game, with the second-largest announced crowd of the season at 1,383, and excellent turnout for a post-game skate with the team.
Despite outshooting the Grizzlys 22-19 in the opening two periods, the Bandits were shut out by Grizzly goalie Andrew Henderson, with the only goal of the game coming on an Olds power play 7:31 into the second when Ryley Smith tapped in a cross-crease pass from Quentin Greenwood off the rush.
It was the only blemish for Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON), who otherwise stopped 19 of 20 shots, and the only slip-up for the Bandits’ penalty kill, which was busy with 8 kills on the night, 7 of them successful.
The Bandits controlled play in the third, however, outshooting the Grizzlys 13-1. Ryan Mahshie (Stoney Creek, ON) thought he had scored on a point blank shot from the right side of the net that he lifted over Henderson, but the puck got caught in the goalie’s equipment and was ruled not to have crossed the line.
It wasn’t until the 17:03 mark that they finally broke through, and on the snakebitten power play to boot, when a high slot shot by Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) went off an Olds skate and deflected to Orca Wiesblatt (Calgary, AB) at the left side of the net, who swept it in past Henderson to tie the game.
At 17:17 on the ensuing shift, Brandon Scanlin (Hamilton, ON) fired a shot from the left point that deflected off Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON), then the crossbar, coming straight down and sliding over the goal line to give the Bandits the dramatic go-ahead goal.
In the final minute, Plessis charged to the slot and left a puck that Hamre wristed towards the goal from the top of the crease. It deflected up in the air, and came down to Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) at the left side of the net who swept it in past a sprawling Henderson as the referee blew his whistle. After conferring with the linesman and goal judge, the referee awarded the goal, giving Brooks the 3-1 advantage with 31 seconds left.
After a late Olds timeout, Plessis took possession off a defensive zone draw and scored on a breakaway on an empty Grizzly net with 11 seconds left to notch the 4-1 final.
The Bandits will try to make it four in a row when they host the Grande Prairie Storm on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. Tickets are on sale online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.