BROOKS, AB (March 15, 2019) – Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) had two goals, and the Brooks Bandits got goals from 7 different scorers, opening their best-of-7 AJHL South Semifinal series with an 8-2 home win over the Canmore Eagles on Friday night.
The Bandits outshot Canmore 44-13, including a 37-9 margin in the first two periods, in their first game in nearly two weeks since ending their record-setting regular season with a first round playoff bye.
Brooks captain Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) opened the scoring at the 4:16 mark, firing a shot from the right circle past Canmore goalie Thomas Davis for a 1-0 lead. But Canmore tied it just over a minute later when Finn Withey beat Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) with a net front backhander on the Eagles’ first shot of the game. Brooks broke the tie at the 12:19 mark when Boyko tipped a Jordan Di Cicco (London, ON) point shot home.
The Bandits scored twice more in the second; the first a perfect 2-on-1 pass by Tyler Campbell (Winnipeg, MB) to Simon Gravel (Boucherville, QC) who roofed a shot by Davis. Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) scored on a right circle wrist shot off a faceoff on the power play at 12:49 to make it 4-1.
At the 9:49 mark of the third, Boyko fed a puck from the right corner to Jakob Lee (Owen Sound, ON) for a backdoor tap in to make it a 5-1 game. Brandon Scanlin (Hamilton, ON) rocketed home a slap shot from the right point at 13:23 for a 6-1 lead, before Bobby Harrison (Waterdown, ON) poked home a rebound less than a minute later to extend it to 7-1. Quinton Ong scored for Canmore on a power play rebound at 17:28 to narrow the gap, but Boyko scored his second of the game just 10 seconds later, speeding to the side of the net and threading the needle on a short side shot to notch the 8-2 final.
The Bandits went 2 for 5 on the power play and 3 for 4 on the penalty kill as Charleson made 11 saves on 13 shots for his first AJHL playoff win.
The teams will reconvene for Game 2 on Saturday night at the CRA with puck drop scheduled for 7 PM. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.