CANMORE, AB (January 30, 2016) – Despite a 10-to-3 power play disadvantage, the Brooks Bandits (38-7-2) got five goals from five different goal scorers en route to a 5-3 win over the Canmore Eagles on the road Saturday night, the team’s third consecutive win.
The win, coupled with a Camrose loss, extended the Bandits’ lead in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South division to 11 points, while giving the Bandits a record of 11-1 in the month of January.
A high-scoring first period saw the Bandits allow the first goal of a game for only the 13th time this season, when Brett Radford tipped a Jonas Gordan point shot past goalie Garret Hughson (Foremost, AB) to make it 1-0.
Just under five minutes later, Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) intercepted a pass in the high slot of the Canmore zone, and fired a long wrist shot, beating Canmore goalie Ryan Bontorin to tie the game up. The Eagles reclaimed the lead just over four minutes after that, when a backdoor pass found Ryley Risling, whose quick shot make it 2-1, but the Bandits responded just 41 seconds later when Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) dangled his way to the slot and tucked a backhander between Bontorin’s pads to make it 2-2.
Then, Brooks took its first lead of the game at the 16:22 mark, when a spinning shot by Logan Mick (Vernon, B.C.) bounced past Bontorin for a 3-2 advantage.
The Bandits found themselves in penalty trouble in that first, being called for 7 minor penalties, while only receiving one ten-second power play of their own. Despite that, the Bandits outshot Canmore 15-11 in the period.
The penalty difficulties resulted in a 5-on-3 disadvantage to start the second, which the Bandits successfully killed off. But Risling tied the game with his second of the evening on a rebound at the 6:29 mark, making it 3-3. But just 1:35 after that, the Bandits reclaimed the lead when Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, PQ) stole a puck behind the Canmore net, spun out in front and tucked a puck into the Eagle cage for a 4-3 Bandit advantage, despite Brooks being outshot 12-10 in the second officially.
In the third, the Bandits were officially outshot 10-9 (and held a 34-33 advantage for the game), but the only goal came from Bandit Joe O’Connor at the 8:55 mark on a net front backhander to notch the 5-3 final.
The Bandits were 0-for-3 on their power play while killing off 9 of 10 Canmore power plays. Hughson stopped 30 of 33 shots for his eighth win as a Bandit.
Brooks will return home next weekend for home games against divisional rivals Camrose on Friday night, and Drumheller on Saturday night. Puck drop for both games at the Centennial Regional Arena will be at 7:00 PM.