VIDEO: Bandits prevail in see-saw showcase showdown, 6-5 over Spruce Grove

CAMROSE, AB (September 28, 2017) — An explosion of goals and a shootout highlighted Day One of the AJHL Showcase, as a back-and-forth contest saw Brooks win its first game of the season against a non-division opponent.

Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) was the only shooter to score in the shootout, as he helped the Bandits (3-3) to a 6-5 win over the Spruce Grove Saints (4-1-1) on Thursday night at the AJHL Showcase Tournament in Camrose. Bandits goaltender Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) made 24 saves in the win, and saved his best stops for the overtime period.

It was the second time this month the Bandits have won a game in shootout, having beaten Drumheller by the same score on September 23.

For the fourth time this season, the opposition scored first. Saints forward Austin Parmiter batted the puck out of mid-air at the 11:46 mark to make it 1-0. However, Brooks would respond as forward Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, BC) tapped in his second of the year from the right side of the net to tie the game 1-1 at 14:55. Brooks wasn’t done there, as Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) re-directed a Nolan Thompson shot at 18:53 for his first of the year to give the Bandits a 2-1 lead which they would take into the first intermission.

The second period saw seven total goals, but the first one didn’t come until the 9:11 mark as Saints forward Parker Saretsky re-directed a powerplay goal to tie the game 2-2. Just 18 seconds later, Spruce Grove went up 3-2 on another powerplay goal, this time on a Tanner Hickey point shot.

Hamre tied the game 3-3 soon after at the 12:43 mark with a bullet from the right hash-marks for his second of the night. Less than a minute later, the Bandits reclaimed the lead, as forward Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB) tipped a pass into the net for his second of the year to make it 4-3.

The Saints were able to tie the game with 2:55 left in the second, as Chris Van Os-Shaw made good on a loose puck that Benson couldn’t’ cover. Then, in the final two minutes, Parker Saretsky gave the Saints a 5-4 lead after tipping a shot into the Bandit net. But there was another goal before the second period ended, as Bandit defenceman Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) blasted a point shot goal with 1.1 seconds on the clock to tie the game.

The third period saw no goals, as both teams had chances on the powerplay.

In overtime, Benson shone as the Saints had multiple chances to end the game, including an incredible stretch of the left arm to deny Van Os-Shaw. Nothing was solved in overtime, nor the first five shooters of the shootout, so it came down to Boyko in the third round, which he made good on, for his second shootout winner in as many tries as a Bandit.

Brooks will take short rest before taking on the Grande Prairie Storm at 4:30 on Friday afternoon to cap off their showcase schedule. Pre-game coverage starts at 4:15 on Real Country 105.7.