BROOKS, AB (October 2, 2015) – The Brooks Bandits (5-3) recovered from a Thursday night shelling by Spruce Grove in spectacular fashion, besting the #2-nationally ranked Lloydminster Bobcats (8-2) by a 4-1 final at the Encana Arena in Camrose on Friday afternoon to cap off their AJHL Showcase weekend.
The Bandits, despite being outshot 35-27 on the night, got 34 big saves from goalie Josh Davies (Guelph, ON), as well as multi-point nights from veterans Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) and Derek Lodermeier (Brooklyn Center, MN).
“We played against a real big, real tough, strong hockey team, and our guys took the challenge, battled back, and won some battles,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “We actually played like we felt we had an opportunity to win the hockey game, when in the last week we haven’t been that team at all.”
“It’s nice to see that we showed some confidence.”
Brooks was not only missing injured veterans Jeff Malott (Waterdown, ON) and Jesse Baird (Brampton, ON), but also had to deal for the first time this season with an injury absence for forward Austin Wright (Niagara Falls, ON), and the first of a two-game suspension for Jesse Pereira (Fort Erie, ON).
In the first, making his Bandits debut, Union College commit Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) scored his first junior A goal at the 9:24 mark when a Charlie Marchand (Calgary, AB) point shot skipped off the glove of Bobcat goalie Pierce Diamond, and came to Foo at the right circle for a quick one-timer into the back of the Lloydminster net.
The 1-0 lead was extended just 1:47 into the second, when a Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) pass from the left halfboards found a waiting Cockrell in the slot, who deposited the puck into an open net behind Diamond for the eventual game-winner.
Lloydminster responded at the 8:46 mark of the middle frame when Morgan Messenger jammed in a puck from the side of the net on a scramble; but it would be the only time Davies would be bested by a Bobcat attempt.
With just over seven minutes left in the second, Logan Aasman became the recipient of a perfect diagonal pass from Cockrell, and tapped in another backdoor one-timer to make it 3-1 Bandits.
Finally, in the third, an odd-man rush for Lodermeier resulted in his centering feed deflecting off of a Lloydminster defender’s stick and right back to the Brooks captain, who deposited the second chance into the Bobcat net to notch the 4-1 final.
The Bandits and Bobcats both went 0 for 4 on their respective power plays.
Brooks will head to Calgary and the Max Bell Centre for its next game this coming Wednesday at 7:00 PM against the Canucks, before returning home on Friday, October 9th to host the Calgary Mustangs beginning at 7:00 PM at the Centennial Regional Arena.