CAMROSE, AB (October 31, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (11-3-2) never trailed, taking a 4-1 lead early in the second period and holding on for a 5-3 victory over the Camrose Kodiaks (10-7-1) at Encana Arena in Camrose on Monday night.
The Bandits outshot the Kodiaks 27-15 in the opening two periods, and 35-28 overall in the game, as reigning AJHL Defensive Player of the Week Mitchel Benson (Windsor, ON) made 25 saves for his third consecutive win.
Brooks opened the scoring on the power play at the 13:02 mark of the game when Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) tipped a long shot from Brett Clayton (Abbotsford, B.C.) at the blue line for a 1-0 lead and Clayton’s first point as a Bandit in his third game.
Just 90 seconds later, the Bandits doubled the lead when Charlie Marchand (Calgary, AB) fired a slapshot from the right point through a screen, beating Camrose goalie Patrick Gora to make it 2-0.
Camrose replied just under two minutes later on a power play of their own, when Kyler Kupka fired a shot in from the right faceoff circle to cut the lead in half.
But it took #13 of the Bandits just 13 seconds to reclaim the team’s two-goal advantage, as Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) found a puck in the slot amid a maze of Camrose sticks and fired a quick wrist shot past Gora for a 3-1 Brooks lead after 1.
In the second, the Bandits took their largest lead of the night on a power play when Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) fired in a goal on a diving shot at the right-wing faceoff circle for a 4-1 advantage.
But the Kodiaks chipped away at the lead after that, with Estian Coetzee tipping a Joseph Tambasco point shot past Benson at the 15:42 mark, then Ryan Hartman firing a shot from the left circle off Benson and in with 2:02 left in the middle frame to make it a one-goal game.
But the Bandits locked it down 93 seconds into the third when captain Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) tipped a point shot from David D’Agostino (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON) for a vital insurance goal. Benson stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third, and the Bandits skated to their third straight win and first of the season series against Camrose.
The win puts Brooks 3 points back of the first-place Calgary Canucks in the AJHL South with 2 games in hand. The Bandits return home this weekend for Friday and Saturday matchups with the Drayton Valley Thunder and Spruce Grove Saints. Puck drop for both games is at 7:00 PM.
Photo: Pro Sports Photography (https://twitter.com/prosportsphoto/status/793273175199084544)