GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB (February 16, 2018) – Former Grande Prairie Storm defenceman Carter Wolski (Sexsmith, AB) had the game-winner, as the Brooks Bandits (40-12-1) won their 40th game of the year, downing the Storm 5-1 on the road on Friday night.
After a scoreless first, the Bandits got second period goals from two defencemen, before three insurance markers in the third established a comfortable lead.
Goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) made 19 saves for his league-leading 39th win of the season, and also has now recorded the 6th-most minutes played in a season in AJHL history, with 3,074.
The game’s opening goal came 7:05 into the second when a fallen Louis Jamernik (Calgary, AB) fired a pass to the high slot for Shane Bear (Calgary, AB), who had two shots stopped by Storm goalie Charles-Olivier Levesque before his third chance deflected in the air and bounced into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Just over three minutes later, Wolski bit his former team when he fired a point shot through a screen and past Levesque to double the Bandit advantage.
That lead held until 5:42 into the third when Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) carried in on an odd-man rush and perfectly fired a pass from the right corner to the crease for Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) to deflect home for a 3-0 lead.
Grande Prairie spoiled the shutout bid at 9:18 when Edouard Michaud scored a power play goal on a wrister from the high slot, but less than a minute later, Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) jammed a puck across the slot to a waiting Brandon Scanlin (Hamilton, ON), who one-timed in a loose puck from the left circle to make it 4-1 Bandits.
Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) finished off the scoring at 12:11, firing a wrister home from the left circle.
The Bandits outshot the Storm 44-20 on the night, going 3 for 4 on the penalty kill and 0 for 3 on the power play. They next meet the Whitecourt Wolverines on Saturday night at 7:30, with pre-game coverage starting at 7:15 on Real Country 105.7.