OLDS, AB (September 25, 2018) – The Brooks Bandits (4-1) saw a 4-1 first period lead evaporate, but a Tyler Campbell (Winnipeg, MB) goal with just over seven minutes left in the game stood up as the difference, in a 5-4 win over the Olds Grizzlys (0-5) on the road on Tuesday night.
The win moves the Bandits into a tie with the Calgary Mustangs for first place in the AJHL South division.
Brooks got off to a rough start, when a turnover behind their net led to a Logan Bromhead wraparound goal just 1:54 in for a 1-0 Olds lead.
But the Bandits responded just over a minute later when Ryan Mahshie (Stoney Creek, ON) stuffed a puck home off a battle at the side of the net. Only 13 seconds later, Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) slid a low backhand shot between the pads of Olds goalie Duncan Hughes and into the net to give Brooks its first lead of the night.
Then, at the 10:32 mark, a Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) shot from the middle of the blue line deflected off of an Olds stick and into the Grizzly net to extend the lead to 3-1. Less than a minute after that, Thomas Samuelsen (Williston, VT) dropped a puck off for a pinching-in Jordan Di Cicco (London, ON), who snuck into the slot and roofed a wrist shot by Hughes for a 4-1 advantage.
Brooks outshot the Grizzlys 14-9 in the first, but were outshot 28-20 the rest of the way, as the Grizzlys chipped away at the lead.
In the second, Cayden Kraus scored on a 4-on-1 Grizzly rush to pull the home side to within two. Then in the third, Lukas Jirousek stuffed a puck in to cut the lead to one on the power play, before Kraus tied it by firing a wrist shot in from the left circle off the rush.
But at the 12:44 mark, Bandit captain Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) flung a puck in front from the end wall that Campbell jammed home to claim the 5-4 lead, with the Bandits withstanding a late Olds flurry to hold on for their fourth straight win.
With the assist on the game-winner, Plessis reached three points on the night and moved into the lead in the AJHL scoring race with 12 points in 5 games.
Bandit goalie Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) made 33 saves on 37 shots for the win.
Next up, Brooks will travel to the annual AJHL Showcase in Camrose, beginning with a Friday night matchup with the Drayton Valley Thunder at the old Max McLean Arena at 8 PM. Pre-game coverage starts at 7:45 PM on Real Country 105.7.