LLOYDMINSTER, SK (May 17, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (2-1) withstood a late surge by the RBC Cup host Lloydminster Bobcats (1-2) on Tuesday night, as a 4-1 third period lead gave way to a 4-3 nailbiting win, earning Brooks a spot in Saturday’s RBC Cup semifinal round with one game left for the team to play in the round robin stage.
The Bandits opened the scoring just 92 seconds into the game, when a Griffin Mumby pass at neutral ice was picked off by Bandit defenceman and reigning CJHL Rookie of the Year Cale Makar (Calgary, AB). Makar skated into the Lloydminster zone, cut to the slot, and fired a nearly perfect shot past Lloydminster goalie Alex Leclerc to make it a 1-0 game.
Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images
The Bobcats tied it up with just under six minutes left in the first, however, when Christian Lloyd threw a puck to the net front from the right point, which caught the stick of Noah Bauld and deflected past Bandit goalie Garret Hughson (Foremost, AB).
But the second period belonged to the Bandits with two key goals giving the team a seemingly comfortable lead. After a boarding penalty by the Bobcats, the Bandit power play took just 29 seconds to convert, when Derek Lodermeier (Brooklyn Center, MN) backhanded a rebound in the slot past a sprawling Leclerc to make it 2-1.
At the 13:36 mark, Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) sped into the Lloydminster zone and shot a puck from the left circle that caught the bottom of Leclerc’s arm and slid behind him and into the net for a 3-1 Bandit advantage.
In the third, an odd-man rush proved deadly for Lloydminster, as a neutral zone turnover led to a Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) carry-in along the right side; he put the puck across to Logan Mick (Vernon, BC) who lifted a wrist shot from the left hashmarks over Leclerc and into the Bobcat net for his tournament-leading third goal of the RBC Cup and a 4-1 Brooks advantage.
But a borderline holding call on Jesse Baird (Brampton, ON) with just over three minutes left set the stage for a near-comeback for the home side. On the ensuing power play, Bobcat captain Taylor Mulder tipped a shot past Hughson to pull Lloydminster within two. Then, with an empty net and extra attacker, a net front scramble led to a Morgan Messenger goal and the three-goal Bandit lead had been cut to one.
But the Bandits held on from there, milking the final 59 seconds off of the clock and taking the vital win. Brooks went 1 for 3 on the power play and 3 for 4 on the penalty kill, while being outshot 29-27, with Hughson making 26 saves for the win.
The Bandits will take on the Carleton Place Canadians to cap off their round robin stage on Thursday at 3:30 PM, with an opportunity to take first place in the round robin if Trenton loses to Lloydminster later that night. Pre-game coverage for that game begins at 3:00 PM on Q105.7.