OLDS, AB (September 26, 2017) — Breakaways and odd-man rushes cost the Brooks Bandits two points in their first loss to the Olds Grizzlys in two and a half years on Tuesday night in Olds.
The Grizzlys (2-2) downed the Brooks Bandits (2-3) 3-1, scoring all their goals in the third period in a come-from-behind victory.
Despite the Bandits outshooting the Grizzlys 42-22 and a strong presence in net from goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON), the Grizzlys took the game after having not beaten Brooks since February 16, 2015.
For just the second time this season, Brooks got on the board first. After Olds had a breakaway denied by Benson and hit a post on another, Conner Jean (Oakland, MI) responded with his team-leading 6th goal of the season with 4:35 left in the first period, one timing home a feed from behind the net from linemate Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB).
Benson held the 1-0 lead throughout the second period, including a successful key penalty kill late in the second with the long change, and for just the second time this year, Brooks entered the third with a lead.
The Grizzlys came out firing in the third, tying the game exactly one minute in thanks to a Ryley Smith breakaway goal. The back-and-forth continued until Jeremy Klessens added another breakaway marker to give Olds a 2-1 with under five minutes to play.
Estian Coetzee would add an empty net goal in the final minute to put the game out of reach.
The Bandits will continue their lengthy set of road games by opening their AJHL Showcase schedule on Thursday night at Encana Arena in Camrose against the Spruce Grove Saints. Puck drop is set for 8:00 PM with pre-game coverage starting at 7:45 on Real Country 105.7.