BROOKS, AB (February 5, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits defeated their divisional rivals, the Camrose Kodiaks, for the first time this season in regulation tonight, scoring a 5-3 victory in front of just under 1,500 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks.
With the win, the Bandits opened up a 12-point lead over the Kodiaks for first place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South division, and remained 7 points back of the Spruce Grove Saints for first overall, with 4 games in hand.
The Bandits doubled the Kodiaks in shots 14-7 in the first period, and converted on their second power play when captain Derek Lodermeier (Brooklyn Center, MN) jammed home a rebound past Kodiaks goalie Patrick Gora for a 1-0 lead. The Bandits had been just 1-for-26 against the Camrose penalty kill coming into the game.
In the second, the Kodiaks tied it early when a loose puck rolled to the returning Nelson Gadoury in the Bandits slot, whose one-timer beat Garret Hughson (Foremost, AB) to make it 1-1.
But the Bandits responded just before the halfway mark of the game. First, the Bandits had an apparent goal waved off when a Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) shot from the slot rang the crossbar and slid down the right post without crossing the goal line. But on the ensuing faceoff, a Shane Bear (Calgary, AB) point shot hit the skate of Jeff Malott (Waterdown, ON) in the slot, and rolled to the Bandit forward’s stick; his turnaround shot snuck past Gora to give the Bandits a 2-1 lead.
But when the Kodiaks finally received their first power play of the game in the final two minutes of the second period, they made it count, finding a wide open Jake Dube at the right circle, who cut in close on Hughson and snapped a wrister short side to make it 2-2 heading into the second intermission.
But as quick as the Kodiaks’ start was in the second, the Bandits started even faster in the third, with a goal just 15 seconds in. A centering pass by Bear ricocheted off of a Kodiak skate and into the net to give Brooks an early 3-2 lead. Just under three minutes later, on a delayed penalty and on a power play, Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) centered a puck from the left corner to Landon Welykholowa (Calgary, AB) whose quick shot from the top of the crease beat Gora for a vital two-goal Bandit lead.
With just under five minutes left in the game, Dube scored his second of the game on a long shot from the high slot to make it a 4-3 game. Penalties became trouble for the Bandits, as the Kodiaks were awarded an 80-second 5-on-3 advantage. But the Bandits PK killed it off, and the subsequent 5-on-4, despite an extra Kodiak attacker. In the dying seconds, Jared Cockrell cleared a puck to the red line, chased it down himself, and fired it into the empty net to notch the 5-3 final score.
The Bandits remain home for tomorrow night’s matchup with the Drumheller Dragons, the team’s annual charity jersey night. Brooks will wear special sweaters in honour of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which will be auctioned off during the game, with all proceeds going to support the organization. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM with tickets available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
Shoppers Drug Mart Player of the Game: #6 Shane Bear
Boston Pizza Hardest Working Bandit: #16 Jared Cockrell