BROOKS, AB (October 8, 2018) – A late second period penalty by Austin Wong spoiled a two-goal comeback by the Okotoks Oilers (3-5-1) on Monday afternoon, leading to a Jakob Lee (Owen Sound, ON) power play goal and a 3-2 win for the Brooks Bandits (8-1) in front of a near-capacity Thanksgiving Day crowd of 1,634.
Simon Gravel (Boucherville, QC) led the way with two goals and an assist, while goalie Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) stopped 20 shots for his eighth career win, as the Bandits outshot Okotoks 28-22.
Gravel’s first came in the dying seconds of the first period as he drove from the right circle up to the high slot. Turning and firing a blind shot toward goal, the puck flew by four players screening goalie Brady Parker and into the left side of the Oiler net for the go-ahead goal.
In the second, Gravel doubled the lead just over halfway through the frame when William Lemay (Marieville, QC) fed a puck to him from the bottom of the left circle that Gravel fired home short side.
Okotoks stormed back from there, however, with Zane Kindrachuk scoring off the rush at the 16:00 mark to cut the deficit in half, and Marc Pasemko scoring on a rebound from the right side of the net 38 seconds later to tie the game.
But a key miscue by Okotoks cost them the game, as on the ensuing centre ice faceoff, Wong tangled with Tyler Campbell of the Bandits and thrust his stick across the Bandit forward’s helmet. He was assessed a two-minute minor for cross-checking, and the Bandits took only 7 seconds to convert, with Lee firing home a far side wrister from the left circle for the eventual game-winning goal.
In the third, the Bandits played perfect shutdown defence, holding the Oilers to just 3 shots on goal in the final frame. A Barrett Sheen slashing penalty with just under 5 minutes left help to significantly kill the Oilers’ momentum, while two sliding shot blocks by Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) in the final minute brought the near-capacity crowd to its feet, as he followed up his final block with a diving clear of the puck to ensure the Brooks victory.
The Bandits remain home for two more games on Friday and Saturday, taking on the Grande Prairie Storm and Whitecourt Wolverines at 7 PM both nights. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.