CAMROSE, AB (January 23, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits’ (35-7-2) 17-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night, as a 4-0 second period lead gave way to five unanswered goals from the divisional archrival Camrose Kodiaks, who downed the Bandits by a 5-4 final score at the Encana Arena in Camrose.
It was the Bandits’ first loss in nearly two months, with the last one coming November 27th at home to the Bonnyville Pontiacs. Despite the loss, the Bandits remained 9 points ahead of the Kodiaks for first place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South division.
The opening goal came at the 11:28 mark courtesy of a Jesse Baird (Brampton, ON) backhand shot from the slot, and was followed up just over a minute later by a short side wrist shot by Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) on an odd-man rush to make it 2-0 Brooks early. With less than 2 minutes to go in the first, Logan Mick (Vernon, BC) fed a cross-slot pass to Landon Welykholowa (Calgary, AB), whose backhand one-timer snuck behind goalie Patrick Gora to make it 3-0 Bandits heading into the first intermission.
Brooks outshot the Kodiaks 18-10 in the first, but were outshot 13-9 in a turning point second period, despite an early goal by Mappin, his second of the game, on a perfectly placed top-shelf wrist shot from the right-wing faceoff circle at 1:53 to make it 4-0.
First, Mackenzie Bauer scored on a two-on-one rush on the Kodiaks’ second power play of the game. Then, Liam Motley, who had planted himself firmly in the Bandits crease, knocked a puck past a sprawling Garret Hughson (Foremost, AB) to make it 4-2. At the 16:31 mark, on another Kodiak power play, Cole McBride jammed a loose puck in on another net front scramble to pull the Kodiaks within 1.
After that goal, the Kodiaks were called for two roughing penalties, only one of which was offset, giving Brooks a power play and a chance to reclaim a two goal lead. Instead, they allowed a shorthanded goal when Bauer forced a turnover behind the Brooks net and centered the puck to a wide-open Paul Lovsin, who one-timed the puck past Hughson to make it 4-4 after two periods.
In the third, the difference-maker came in bizarre fashion, as Angus Scott centered a puck from behind the Bandit net that ricocheted off of a stick, off the backside of goaltender Hughson, and slipped over the goal line for an exceptionally awkward go-ahead goal. Despite a 12-4 Brooks shot advantage in the third, the Kodiaks held on for the narrow win, making their record 3-0-1 against the Bandits so far on the season.
The game was only the second time all season that the Bandits have lost when scoring first, and the first time this season that they have lost when leading after the first period.
The Bandits will look to rebound on Tuesday night in a road game against another divisional rival, the Drumheller Dragons. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM with pre-game coverage starting at 6:45 PM on Q105.7.