FORT McMURRAY, AB (September 25, 2015) – Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) scored less than a minute into overtime on a nifty setup by Cale Makar (Calgary, AB), as the Brooks Bandits (4-1) downed the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (0-5-1) 4-3 in overtime at the Casman Centre on Friday night.
The Bandits, playing without veterans Jeff Malott (Waterdown, ON), Jesse Baird (Brampton, ON), and Shane Bear (Calgary, AB), got goals from rookie Will Conley (Strathmore, AB) in his first game as a bandit, as well as Logan Aasman (Medicine Hat, AB) and leading scorer Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, PQ).
The start of the game was delayed by 22 minutes after Bandits newcomer Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) shattered a pane of glass in warmup that required a lengthy reinstallation.
The Bandits opened the scoring at the 3:40 mark with Conley’s first, when sophomore forward Hayden Ursulak (Calgary, AB) fed a pass in front from behind the net, which Conley shot past Barons goaltender Eric Szudor to make it 1-0.
But the Barons would respond at the 17:04 mark on a similar goal, when Connor McCallum found Jackson McKinstry at the top of the crease, and a low shot snuck between the pads of Josh Davies (Guelph, ON) to make it 1-1.
In the second period, the Bandits were dominant, outshooting the Barons 13-2, but yet remaining unable to solve Szudor.
That solution presented itself in the third period, when the veteran Aasman cut in front of the Barons net alone, and tucked a backhander around a sprawling Szudor to put the Bandits ahead. Three minutes and one second later, Charlie Marchand (Calgary, AB) drove to the side of the Barons net and flung a puck in front that McCrory was able to jam past Szudor to give the Bandits a 3-1 lead.
However, Fort McMurray battled back, ending the period with a 13-12 shot advantage, and a tie game. Both goals came on rebounds at the front of the Bandits’ net; the first jammed home by Austin Holmes at 14:31, the second by Jordan Funk at 18:19.
The game headed to 3-on-3 overtime and at the 47 second mark, Aasman sprung Makar for a 2-on-2 rush up the ice from his own zone; Makar cut to the side of the Barons net and flung the puck across to Cockrell, who despite getting tripped up still managed to knock the puck into the back of the Barons net for the game winning goal.
The Bandits outshot Fort McMurray 43-24 on the night. Josh Davies made 21 saves on 24 shots for the win, while Szudor stopped 39 of 43.
Brooks concludes its weekend road trip tomorrow night at 7:30 when the team takes on the Bonnyville Pontiacs at the RJ Lalonde Arena at 7:30. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:15 on the home of the Bandits, Q105.7.