BROOKS, AB (February 1, 2019) – The Brooks Bandits (45-3) won their 21st consecutive game, setting a new franchise record for a win streak on Friday night in a 9-1 win over the Olds Grizzlys in front of 1,443 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Bobby Harrison (Waterdown, ON) led the way with a hat trick as the Bandits tied the 1987-88 Calgary Canucks for the second-longest winning streak in AJHL history, behind only the 24-game streak by last season’s Okotoks Oilers.
Brooks outshot the Grizzlys 53-9 in the game, with a 3 for 7 power play and perfect 3 for 3 penalty kill, as goaltender Tanner Marshall (Kelowna, BC) moved his record to 8-0 stopping 8 shots.
Harrison opened the scoring just 2:40 into the game when he deflected home a Jakob Lee (Owen Sound, ON) centering pass. At 5:44, after Ray Christy (St. Paul, MN) barely missed the net on a 2-on-0 chance down low, Andrew Lucas (Alexandria, VA) recollected the puck and fired a shot past Olds goalie Duncan Hughes for the eventual game winner.
In the second period, William Lemay (Marieville, QC) notched his 30th goal of the season just 3:15 in when he dangled around a defender at the right side of the Olds net, cut in front and swept a puck into the Olds cage for a 3-0 lead. Lee fired a shot off the post but then tapped in his own rebound at 4:43 to make it 4-0, while Simon Gravel (Boucherville, QC) scored on a wrist shot from the right circle at 13:08. Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) one-timed home a power play slap shot from the left circle at 15:20 to make it 6-0 heading to the final frame.
In the third, Harrison got his second goal of the game only 34 seconds in with a power play one timer from the right circle, then completed his hat trick at 8:37 sweeping in a loose puck from the slot. Daine Milgate scored from the slot for Olds at 12:25 to break Marshall’s shutout bid, but the Bandits had the final line on the score sheet when Wyatt Villalta (Kingston, ON) wired in a wrist shot from the right circle with just 40 seconds left to give all fans in attendance a free Wendy’s cheeseburger and notch the 9-1 final score.
The 21-game win streak eclipses the previous high watermark accomplished by the 2012-13 Bandits, who won their first 20 games of that season en route to the organization’s only national championship.
Brooks will aim to extend the win streak to 22 on Saturday night in Drumheller against the Dragons, with pre-game coverage starting at 7:15 on Real Country 105.7.