BROOKS, AB (October 14, 2016) – In a game punctuated by back-and-forth scoring and controversial calls, the Brooks Bandits managed to squeak out 2 points with a 6-5 shootout win over the Canmore Eagles on Friday night at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The game featured five lead changes and two goals that video conclusively showed should not have been ruled as such; but one such goal was awarded to each team, giving neither the advantage.
Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) opened the scoring at the 1:24 mark of the game, one-timing a shot from the left circle past Eagle goalie Ryan Bontorin to make it 1-0 Brooks. But the Eagles responded on a Daly Hamilton point shot at 4:31 that tied the game, before they took their first lead on a Matt Forchuk completion of a 2-on-1 one-timer at 9:41 on the power play to make it 2-1 Canmore.
Before the period was out, three more goals were scored; first the Bandits tacked on two in just over two minutes, the first a Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) rebound goal in the slot, the second an Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) backhand shot on the power play from the right side of the net to make it 3-2 Brooks. But Canmore tied it at 16:29 when a Jarell Pinchuk shot bounced off the end boards and deflected off goaltender Alex Horawski (Toronto, ON) and in to knot the game at 3-3.
In the second, an odd sequence emerged when Braden Saretsky appeared to fire a puck off the roof of the Bandit net on a shot from the top of the crease, but the goal was waved off. Without there being a whistle, the Eagles scored on an odd-man rush, but at the ensuing stoppage, the first goal was ruled to have been in, and Saretsky was awarded the 4-3 go-ahead marker with time added to the clock.
But on the next shift, Parker Huebner (Leduc, AB) found Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) in the slot, and the Bandit veteran’s quick wrist shot beat Bontorin to tie it 4-4.
Further controversy followed as the Eagles sprung Matt Forchuk on a breakaway in the dying seconds of the second. The buzzer to end the period sounded before Forchuk shot the puck, which beat Horawski, and bizarrely the officials convened and awarded a goal to Forchuk, despite the period clearly having ended before the puck had even left his stick.
In the third, the Bandits outshot the Eagles 17-1 but only found paydirt on another controversial sequence. Charlie Marchand (Calgary, AB) fed a pass from the right point to Oliver Chau waiting back-door at the left side of the net, but his one-time shot rang the right post and stayed out. After an ensuing offside call, however, the referee awarded Chau a goal, tying the game 5-5 and sending it to overtime.
A nifty glove save by Alex Horawski on Adam Tisdale’s quick wrist shot from the slot highlighted OT before the game went to a shootout with the final shots on goal reading 38-19 in favour of Brooks.
In the shootout, Josh McKechney opened the proceedings with a goal, while Horawski stopped Matt Forchuk’s attempt with his pad. Ty Mappin then shot a quick wrister off of Bontorin and in to put Canmore on their heels, before Adam Tisdale responded with a goal of his own to keep the shootout going. Oliver Chau’s attempt missed the net high, but Horawski stopped Logan Ferguson on the final shootout shot to give Brooks the extra point.
The Bandits remain home to take on the Grande Prairie Storm on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.