VIDEO: Bear, Hancock score season firsts, Bandits beat Bobcats 5-2 for 11th straight

LLOYDMINSTER, SK (February 9, 2018) – Trailing just 90 seconds into the game, the Brooks Bandits (38-11-1) stormed back with five unanswered goals, notching their 11th consecutive win on Friday night with a 5-2 victory over the Lloydminster Bobcats.

The win improved the Bandits’ record against North division teams to 13-0.

Taking advantage of a lively bounce off the end wall on a dump-in, the Bobcats stormed out to an early lead when a Shawn Harke feed deflected off Daniel Hilsendager in front of the Bandit net and into the back of the cage to make it 1-0.

But a Jakob LaPointe (Leduc, AB) point shot created a rebound for a falling Shane Bear (Calgary, AB) to whack in for his first of the season to tie the game. Just over a minute later, Mack Hancock (Kingston, ON) scored on his 19th birthday, tapping in a rebound from a Louis Jamernik (Calgary, AB) shot to give Brooks its first lead of the game.

As time dwindled in the first, Matt Cassidy fed a puck to Shane Bear for a shot that went wide right of the net, but bounced to Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) who tapped it in for a 3-0 Brooks lead. After consulting, the officials reaffirmed the goal call, which video evidence proved was conclusively correct.

In the second, the Bandits extended their lead just 1:41 in when Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB) batted a puck down out of midair behind the net, and centered it to Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON), who sniped home a wrist shot for a 4-1 lead. Just over halfway through the frame, Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) tipped in a Brandon Scanlin point shot on the power play to make it 5-1 and chase Lloydminster starter Pierce Diamond from the net. He was replaced by Bailey Brkin who would not allow a goal the rest of the way.

With the second assist on that goal, captain Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) tied the Bandits record for assists in a single season by a defenceman, matching the number that NHL draftee Cale Makar had last year.

In the third, the Bandits outshot the Bobcats 14-2, but allowed the only goal when Kobe Walker tapped one in from the right side of the net to finish a three-way passing play. But Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) made 18 saves for his league-leading 37th win of the season.

The Bandits outshot the Bobcats 39-20 in the game, going 2 for 9 on the power play and 4 for 5 on the penalty kill. They will take on the first-place Spruce Grove Saints on the road Saturday night at 7:00 PM, with pre-game coverage starting at 6:45 PM on Real Country 105.7.