DRUMHELLER, AB (December 7, 2016) – For the first time in more than two years, the Drumheller Dragons got two points out of the rival Brooks Bandits (23-3-4), winning 4-3 in overtime at the Drumheller Memorial Arena on Wednesday night.
The Bandits outshot Drumheller 38-19 in the game, and still sit in first place in the AJHL South and first overall in the AJHL in terms of win percentage.
Drumheller opened the scoring just past the halfway mark of the first when Markus Boguslavsky fired in a shot from the slot, beating goalie Mitch Benson for the only goal of the opening frame, a tightly-played 20 minutes featuring only 9 total shots on goal, with the count 5-4 Brooks after the first.
In the second, the Bandits doubled Drumheller in shots 16-8 and added three consecutive goals. First, David D’Agostino (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON) one-timed in a feed from the top of the crease that came from Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) behind the net, beating Hunter Virostek for a 1-1 score.
Just over two minutes later at the 8:26 mark, the scoring play was reversed, as D’Agostino centered to Chau from behind the net for a diving shot that found the back of the Drumheller net to make it 2-1 for the Bandits.
With just under 5 minutes left in the middle frame, the Bandits extended the lead to 2 when Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) centered a puck from the right corner to Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) in the slot, who fired a quick wrist shot past Virostek for a 3-1 Bandit advantage.
But barely a minute after that, Brett Campbell potted a rebound goal for Drumheller to keep it just a one-goal game after 40 minutes.
In the third, the only goal came 9:57 in as a Drumheller power play was expiring. Joren Patenaude flung a low shot from the middle of the Bandit blue line that caught Benson’s stick and deflected into the back of the net to tie the game 3-3. Despite a flurry of Brooks scoring chances and a 17-6 third period shot lead, the Bandits could not break the deadlock.
In overtime, the Dragons controlled the puck throughout the extra frame. The winning goal came on a partial 2-on-1 after a Bandit defender was bumped down as the Dragons carried in. Jordan Taupert found himself open at the left circle, and deposited a perfectly placed wrist shot over the glove of Benson to give Drumheller the dramatic 4-3 victory.
The Bandits return home this weekend for back to back games against North division foes. Friday they welcome the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Minor Hockey Night presented by Chinook Financial, which is also an unused season ticket exchange night. Saturday, the annual Teddy Bear Toss supporting Scotiabank Smiles for Christmas is on, with the Bandits hosting the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Puck drop for both games is at 7:00 PM, with tickets available online at http://tickets.brooksbandits.ca.