BONNYVILLE, AB (January 20, 2018) – Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) had the game-winner on his 20th birthday and in his 100th AJHL regular season game, as the Brooks Bandits (32-11-1) defeated the Bonnyville Pontiacs by a score of 2-1 on Saturday night, sweeping their two-game North division road trip on the weekend.
The win improved the Bandits’ record against North division teams to 10-0 on the season, following up a 5-3 win in Fort McMurray the night prior.
Brooks was sent to the first of five penalty kills on the night just 2:27 into the game, but used the opportunity to score the team’s second shorthanded goal of the year, when Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) set up Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) on a 2-on-1 rush for a one-timer goal and a 1-0 Brooks lead.
In the second, the Bandits converted on just their second and final power play of the game, when Cale List (Petawawa, ON) fired a puck in front from the left half-wall that found Theis in the slot for a quick wrister that beat Bonnyville goalie Justin Travis to make it 2-0.
The Pontiacs broke through with 22 seconds left in the game when Luke Albert beat Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) on a rebound shot to make it a one-goal game late. But on the ensuing centre ice faceoff, Bandit captain Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) lifted a clearance down towards the empty Bonnyville net from his own zone, which bounced off the right post and wide. Icing was not called, to the consternation of the Bonnyville bench, and Brooks held on for the 2-1 win.
The Bandits return home Friday night to host the Canmore Eagles on First Responders Night at the CRA with local police, fire, and medical personnel being honoured at the game. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.