OLDS, AB (March 21, 2017) – Former Olds Grizzly Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) had two goals, including the game-winner, while Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) had a 23-save shutout, as the Brooks Bandits completed a 4-game sweep of their AJHL South Division Semi-Final with an 8-0 win over the Olds Grizzlys on Tuesday night.
With the win, the Bandits advance to the South Division Final for the sixth consecutive year, and will take on the Okotoks Oilers in the playoffs for the first time since the Bandits beat them in 7 games in 2013’s South Final.
Mappin’s game-winner came 6:39 into the first on the first power play of the game for Brooks, on a perfectly placed top shelf wrist shot from the right-wing faceoff circle.
From there, the Bandits would be sent to five consecutive penalty kills, including a lengthy five-on-three in the first on which Benson made a bevy of key saves, yet Brooks still added three more goals between the first and second. First, a Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) wrist shot from the blue line beat Olds goalie Ben Giesbrecht through traffic to make it 2-0 at the 11:28 mark, and exactly 1:20 later, Tyler Carangelo (Hamden, CT) was stopped on a breakaway, yet recollected the puck at the left side of the Grizzly net and banked it in for a 3-0 lead.
In the second, Cesana notched his second on a slapshot from the blue line at 11:47, and less than two minutes later, a Carangelo pass from the right point came to Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) at the left side of the net, who slipped a wrister in for his team-leading fifth power play goal and a 5-0 Brooks lead.
Mappin added his second at 1:16 of the third when he deflected a Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) backhander from the slot into the Grizzly net for a 6-0 Brooks advantage. Just 90 seconds later, a long wrist shot from the blue line by Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) found its way in to make it 7-0. Finally, Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) capped off the scoring by cutting from the left corner to the front of the net and sweeping a puck in from point blank range to notch the 8-0 final.
The Bandits outshot the Grizzlys 51-23 in the game, going 1 for 2 on the power play and a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill. In the series, the Bandits outscored Olds 33-3.
The South Final is projected to begin Friday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st with the first two games at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, with puck drop at 7:00 PM. When confirmed, tickets will be available for purchase online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.