BROOKS, AB (August 29, 2017) – A healthy exhibition crowd of 1,024 turned out to the Centennial Regional Arena on Tuesday night, seeing their Brooks Bandits (0-1) narrow a three-goal deficit to one, but ultimately fall to the visiting Okotoks Oilers (1-0) by a 4-2 final score.
The game was the first of the 2017 AJHL pre-season.
A turnover at the side of the Bandits net led to the opening goal at the 12:25 mark of the first, when veteran returnee Kyle Gordon slipped the puck past starting goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) for a 1-0 lead.
A pair of power play goals in the second extended the Okotoks lead; the first a point shot by Nick Blankenburg, and the second a net front redirection by Hoon Kim.
But the Bandits broke through in the third when Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) fired a high shot from the right circle into the top-left corner to put the Bandits on the board at 10:23. At the 15:35 mark, Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) cut the deficit to one, hammering in a power play rebound goal from the left circle.
But it was as close as the Bandits would get, as another net-front turnover allowed Dylan Holloway to score unopposed on Bandit goalie Andrew Farrier (Montreal, PQ) less than a minute after the Boyko goal to notch the 4-2 final tally.
The Bandits return to action for back-to-back pre-season games with the defending BCHL champion Penticton Vees on the weekend. Friday’s game starts at 7pm while Saturday’s finale is at 4pm, with tickets just $5 at the door or purchased online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.