CALGARY, AB (February 9, 2016) – Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) scored the first hat trick of his Junior A career, as the Brooks Bandits (41-7-2) downed the Calgary Canucks (18-30-3) by a 4-1 score on Tuesday night at the Max Bell Centre.
Cockrell’s three goals gave him 29 on the year, matching last year’s team lead by Austin Plevy, and put him on the precipice of becoming the first Bandits 30-goal scorer since Mark Reners and Anthony Petruzzelli reached that plateau in 2012-13.
The win also gave the Bandits a 16-point lead in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South division over Camrose, and narrowed its deficit for first overall to five points, with three games in hand on the Spruce Grove Saints.
Despite a 12-4 shot advantage in the first period, the Bandits were only rewarded once, when a Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) forecheck jammed a puck free for Cockrell’s first goal, a close range shot from the side of the net on a scramble.
In the second, a shorthanded rush saw Cockrell speed into the Calgary zone on the Bandits’ first penalty kill and snap a quick shot past goaltender Caiden Kreitz to double the Brooks lead. On a power play, in the final minute of the frame, a backdoor pass by Jeff Malott (Waterdown, ON) ricocheted off a Canuck defender’s stick and in to make it 3-0 Bandits.
In the third, Brooks finished off its scoring with Cockrell’s hat trick goal, a power play one-timer from the left circle set up by a Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) pass. It gave Cockrell an even-strength, shorthanded, and power play goal for the game. But the Canucks spoiled the shutout bid for Garret Hughson (Foremost, AB) with less than a minute to go on a partial breakaway for Kyler Magus, whose point blank shot was the only blemish on Hughson’s 10th win of the season.
The Bandits outshot the Canucks 27-22 on the night, going 2 for 4 on the power play and 3 for 3 on the penalty kill.
Brooks will travel north to Grande Prairie on Friday night for a 7:30 matchup with the Storm, with pre-game coverage beginning at 7:15 PM on Q105.7.