BROOKS, AB (October 30, 2015) – Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) scored the shootout winner as the Brooks Bandits (11-3-2) won the first of six regular season meetings with the Camrose Kodiaks (11-3-3) in the extra frame 4-3 on Friday night in front of 1,212 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena.
With the win, the Bandits remain 1 point back of Camrose for first place in the AJHL South, but hold a game in hand.
Brooks opened the scoring at the six minute mark when Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, PQ) fired a perfect pass from the left-wing corner of the Camrose zone, to Austin Wright (Niagara Falls, ON), whose net-front tip rocketed top shelf into the Kodiaks net for an early 1-0 advantage.
The Kodiaks tied the game with just 57 seconds left in the opening frame, however, on their first power play when Cole McBride deposited a loose puck in front of an open net on a net front scramble for a 1-1 tie after a period in which Camrose outshot Brooks 16-11.
The second period belonged to the home side Bandits, however, as they outshot their divisional rivals 15-9 and converted twice. First, McCrory scored on a nifty setup from veteran Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB), who feathered a pass from the high slot to McCrory at the bottom of the right circle, and the Bandits’ leading scorer cut to the front of the net and roofed a backhander past Patrick Gora to make it 2-1.
Jared Cockrell doubled the lead at 10:58 when two colliding Kodiak defenders behind the net allowed him to twist his way in front of the Camrose cage, wiring a quick wrist shot past Gora to make it 3-1.
As much as the second belonged to Brooks, however, so too did the third period belong to Camrose. The Kodiaks outshot the Bandits 17-11 and scored twice to force overtime. First, a Cole McBride shot from the high slot deflected off of a Bandit defender and past goaltender Josh Davies (Guelph, ON) to make it 3-2. Then, after Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) had a shot at an empty net deflect wide, Paul Lovsin tied the game on a rebound shot from the left circle with just 24 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, the Kodiaks nearly ended it when a Cole McBridge slap shot beat Davies; but it rang off the crossbar and left post before bouncing off the goal line and out. The Bandits were then assessed a cross-checking penalty but killed off the ensuing 4-on-3 power play. The Kodiaks then took a late penalty of their own but killed off the late PK in overtime to send the game to a shootout.
In the final frame, Dylan McCrory and Nelson Gadoury both scored in the first round, while Kyler Nachtigall and Cole McBridge were stopped in the second round. In the decisive third round, McKechney’s quick shot on the glove side beat Gora, while Paul Lovsin had his backhander stopped by Davies, giving the Bandits the extra point on the night.
Brooks is back in action tomorrow night taking on the Calgary Canucks at 7:00 PM in their second consecutive home game.
Shoppers Drug Mart Player of the Game: #30 Josh Davies
Boston Pizza Hardest Working Bandit: #21 Dylan McCrory