BROOKS, AB (January 12, 2019) – Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) posted his league-leading fourth shutout of the season, and the Brooks Bandits (39-3) won their season-high 15th straight game, downing the visiting Bonnyville Pontiacs 4-0 on Saturday night in front of an announced crowd of 1,634.
With the win, the Bandits need a combination of seven wins and/or Okotoks losses in their remaining 18 games to clinch a first round bye in the playoffs, holding a 23-point lead in the divisional standings.
The Bandits opened the scoring just 1:54 into the game when a point shot from Brandon Scanlin (Hamilton, ON) deflected off a Bonnyville defender’s skate and past goalie Colby Muise for what turned out to be the game winner. Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) fired a high wrister from the high slot into the Bonnyville net exactly 8 minutes later to double the lead. The Bandits outshot the Pontiacs 18-2 in the first period, with both Pontiac shots coming on clearances from their own zone.
The second was far more even, with Bonnyville mustering 11 shots on Charleson, but the Bandit goalie stood tall, including a vital pad save on a wide open Pontiac in the slot late in the frame. The only goals came on a Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) tip of a Nick Hale (Raleigh, N.C.) point shot 8 minutes in, and then a Hale pass that sprung Ryan Mahshie (Stoney Creek, ON) on a breakaway, as he fired a close range shot in to notch the 4-0 final score.
Brooks outshot Bonnyville 10-8 in a scoreless third period highlighted by a sprawling blocker save by Charleson later in the frame, and outshot the visitors 41-21 in the game. Brooks went 0 for 7 on the power play but a perfect 6 for 6 on the penalty kill.
The Bandits will aim for a 16th straight win on Friday night when they host the Sherwood Park Crusaders at 7 PM. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.