DRAYTON VALLEY, AB (October 16, 2015) – Josh Davies (Guelph, ON) stopped 21 of 21 shots, while Kyler Nachtigall (Calgary, AB) extended his point streak to 4 games and Taylor Karel (Eagan, MN) scored his first goal as a Bandit, as the Brooks Bandits (8-3) downed the Drayton Valley Thunder (3-6-4) 3-0 on the road on Friday night.
“He was good when he had to be,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou of his goaltender. “I don’t think he was over-worked, I don’t think any of the opportunities they had were ten-bell opportunities, but he was solid, and did what he had to do.”
The Bandits outshot the Thunder 23-21 on the night, despite being outshot 10-3 in the second period themselves.
Brooks opened the scoring at the 8:15 mark when a Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, PQ) pass found Nachtigall behind the Drayon Valley defence for a breakaway; his quick top-shelf shot stood up as the game winner and gave Nachtigall 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last 4 games.
In the second, after facing significant Thunder pressure and requiring most of Davies’ big saves on the night, the Bandits were rewarded on just their second shot of the period when Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) tucked a puck down the dasher to Karel, as the 6’4” defenceman skated in front from the bottom of the left-wing faceoff circle and wired a shot past Garrett Mason to make it 2-0.
“Coach [Papaioannou] has been big lately on defencemen jumping in on the rush and being active,” said Karel. “I saw my opportunity to get up in the rush, called for the puck from Prkusic, and it just worked out that I got the opportunity to walk in, top of the crease, and put it away.”
In the third, Prkusic converted a pass from Logan Aasman in the corner, hammering home a one-timer from the slot at 8:08 to record the 3-0 final score.
Both teams went 0 for 3 on their respective power plays.
Next up for the Bandits is an evening affair with the AJHL’s top team, the Spruce Grove Saints, at 7:00 PM at the Grant Fuhr Arena on Saturday night.
“If we’re the exact same team we are tonight, those opportunities will end up in the back of our net,” said Papaioannou. “We have to look forward and be excited about that game, but at the same time we have to keep in the back of our minds that they completely ran our show the last time we played them, and we’ve got to have positive emotion going in there.”
Pre-game coverage on the home of the Bandits, Q105.7, begins at 6:45.