VIDEO: Bandits shut out Oilers 3-0 at home

BROOKS, AB (November 12, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (15-3-3) moved back into first place in the AJHL South division with a 3-0 shutout win over the Okotoks Oilers in front of 1,410 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena on Saturday night.

The win ties Brooks in standings points with the Calgary Canucks, but the Bandits have two games in hand.

For the second straight game, the Bandits were playing with just 5 defencemen in the lineup, on short rest after returning home late from a 4-1 win in Canmore the night prior.

A scoreless and exceptionally fast-paced first period saw the home side outshoot the visiting Oilers 8-4, but both Oiler goalie Riley Morris and Bandit goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) were perfect over the opening 20.

In the second, the Bandits finally broke through just as their second power play expired. Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) fired a long pass from his own zone to Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) at the Okotoks line. He carried in on a 2-on-1 rush with Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON), and centered to the rookie forward, who fired a quick wrister past Morris for the eventual game-winning goal.

The Bandits outshot the Oilers 11-6, and subsequently held Okotoks without a shot on goal for the first 18 minutes of the third period, adding two more goals of their own.
First, off a power play faceoff, Nic Vlahos (Mississauga, ON) dug a puck free at the right circle, cut to the slot, and ripped a top right corner wrister past Morris, popping the water bottle for his first goal as a Bandit and a 2-0 Brooks lead.

Before the period was out, Bandit rookie forward Brett Clayton (Abbotsford, B.C.) dropped the gloves with Okotoks veteran defenceman Carson Beers in a spirited tilt that brought the assembled crowd to its feet, leaving both players with major penalties and game misconducts.

In the dying seconds of the third, Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) forced a puck back into Okotoks territory, where Oiler forward Tanner Laderoute fanned on an attempted pass and accidentally directed the puck into his own empty net to notch the 3-0 final score. With the goal being scored with just 23 seconds left in the game, all 1,410 fans in attendance received a free cheeseburger from Wendy’s as part of the team’s Cheeseburger Challenge promotion, the second time this season a last-minute goal has activated the promotion.

With a 13-save performance, Benson recorded his first shutout as a Bandit, improving his record to 6-1-1 since being acquired from the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL.

The Bandit hit the road next week to take on the Grande Prairie Storm and Whitecourt Wolverines on Friday and Saturday respectively; pre-game coverage each night begins at 7:15 PM on the radio home of the Bandits, Real Country 105.7.