STRATHMORE, AB (March 1, 2016) – Tristan Thompson (Canmore, AB) scored twice in the rink in which he played his minor hockey, and the Brooks Bandits (47-9-2) set a new franchise record for goals scored in a season, in an 8-1 road win over the Calgary Mustangs played in front of a near-sellout crowd at the Strathmore Family Centre on Tuesday night.
The Bandits’ 294 goals have now eclipsed the prior team record of 289 goals scored by the 2012-13 Bandits team that won the RBC Cup. 14 of the 18 Bandit skaters had at least 1 point, in a game in which three forwards had to fill in as defencemen due to various injuries.
The Bandits got off to a dominant first period start, outshooting the Mustangs 20-7 but only beating goaltender Tyler Van Vliet twice. First, Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) jammed home a power play rebound after Landon Welykholowa (Calgary, AB) was stoned on a backdoor shot at the 4:12 mark. Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, PQ) fired a puck home through a screen from the high slot at the 11:56 mark to double that lead and notch the eventual game-winning goal.
In the second, although the Bandits doubled the Mustangs in shots 16-8, they did not convert again until the final minute, where they scored twice. Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) fired a puck in from the high slot with 54 seconds left in the period, and on the ensuing shift, a rush by affiliate forwards Kyle Harrison (Calgary, AB) and Cooper Johnson (Calgary, AB) helped lead to Thompson’s first goal on a wrist shot from the left wing faceoff circle to make it 4-0 with just 19 seconds left in the middle frame.
In the third, the score was opened up with four more Bandit goals. Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) backhanded a puck in from the top of the crease just 2:02 in, and on a subsequent power play Thompson blasted home his second of the night on a slap shot from the right circle. Cockrell got his second of the night at 14:28 after accepting a cross crease pass, back-skating until the goaltender was down and out, and lifting the puck in for his team-leading 35th of the season.
With that goal, Cockrell has now scored the most goals by a Bandit in the last four seasons, eclipsed only by Mark Reners’ 41 in the 2011-12 season.
Only 17 seconds after the Cockrell goal, Johnson found a puck at the side of the Mustang net and threw it in front to Harrison, whose quick one time shot was both his first Junior A goal and Johnson’s first Junior A point, giving Brooks an 8-0 lead.
The Mustangs were able to spoil the shutout bid for Josh Davies (Guelph, ON) at the 16:23 mark, when a Jordan Xavier shot was stopped, but the rebound popped to an unmarked Anthony Orubor in the slot who jammed the puck into the Bandit net to get Calgary on the board. Davies saved 26 of 27 shots in the game for his 30th win of the season, tying him for the league lead in that category.
The Bandits went 2 for 10 on the power play and a perfect 8 for 8 on the penalty kill.
Brooks will next host the Calgary Canucks in the team’s penultimate game of the season, at home on Friday at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available at tickets.brooksbandits.ca, by phone at (403) 501-0122, or in person at the CRA, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 PM on Q105.7.