BROOKS, AB (September 16, 2016) – Despite an opening goal from Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) and a 41-19 shot advantage, the Brooks Bandits fell in their 2016 home opener, 2-1 to the Okotoks Oilers on Friday night.
A crowd of 1,390 came out to see the Bandits unveil their 2016 AJHL championship banner, marking the highest attendance for a Bandits home opener since 2013.
Brooks opened the scoring at the 13:48 mark when Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) intercepted a pass on an Oiler 2-on-1 and quickly fed the puck ahead to rookie defenceman Josh Gagne (Caledon, ON). His shot from the right circle produced a rebound for Chau to tap in, to give Brooks the early advantage.
But the second proved vital for the Oilers. First, a Nolan Thompson shot produced a rebound opportunity, both of which were stopped by goalie Alex Horawski (Toronto, ON). But a third chance came to Danton Davis at the top of the crease, and his quick shot found the back of the net to tie it 2:57 into the period.
Less than three minutes later, the Oilers found themselves on a power play after a high stick by the Bandits. Right off of the faceoff, Okotoks found rookie Jacob Bernard-Docker whose quick shot from the left circle rang the far post and went in, for the eventual game-winning goal.
Okotoks held on to that lead in the third despite a 13-5 Bandit shot lead in the period. Riley Morris made more sensational stops for Okotoks in a 40-save night to move his record to 1-0.
The Bandits return home Saturday night for their second game at 7:00 PM against the Calgary Mustangs. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 PM on the home of the Bandits, Q105.7.