FORT McMURRAY, AB (October 27, 2016) – Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) had two goals, while Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) had a goal and a fight, as the Brooks Bandits (9-3-2) beat the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (13-4) by a 4-1 final score at the Casman Centre on Thursday night.
The Bandits outshot the Oil Barons by a whopping 48-20 margin in the game, with the game nonetheless wildly entertaining for the nearly 1,200 in attendance, featuring a bevy of scoring chances both ways. With the win, Brooks remains 3 points out of first place in the AJHL South with 2 games in hand on the Calgary Canucks.
A 13-5 shot advantage for Brooks in the first nonetheless led solely to a scoreless tally after 20 minutes were done. But the Bandits broke through in the second, just 5:56 in, when Tyler Carangelo (Hamden, CT) carried into the Oil Barons zone to the right-wing faceoff circle, and had an attempted pass deflect off of a defender’s stick. The puck bounced straight to Foo at the left side of the Fort McMurray net, and his quick desperation stab at the puck found the back of the net past goalie Forbes Ploszaj to make it a 1-0 Bandit lead.
Carangelo later threw a big neutral ice hit to open up room at the 12:24 mark for Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) to fire a breakaway pass to Hamre, who sped into the Oil Barons zone and snapped a quick shot past Ploszaj for the eventual game-winning goal.
A few minutes later, Hamre dropped the gloves with former Bandit Will Conley after the latter had completed a clean neutral zone hit, with Hamre taking two early punches and having his helmet knocked off. But Hamre responded with a quick haymaker of his own, and the two combatants landed a bevy of punches before the linesmen stepped in.
Brooks had the last say on the second, however, as off of a Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) faceoff scramble, Foo dug the puck free, skated to the right corner, cut around a stumbling Oil Baron defender, and stuffed a point blank chance past Ploszaj to give Brooks a 3-0 lead after 2, capping off a period in which the Bandits outshot the home team 18-6.
In the third, the Bandits fired 19 more shots at Ploszaj, but only one found the back of the net, when defenceman David D’Agostino (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON) slapped a puck from the left circle just inside the right post to make it a 4-0 lead.
Fort McMurray got on the board late when Shane Fraser tipped a point shot to spoil the shutout bid for goalie Mitchel Benson (Windsor, ON), but it was as close as the home team would get, as Benson stopped 19 of 20 for his first AJHL win.
The Bandits are back in action tomorrow night, Friday the 28th, taking on the first-place Bonnyville Pontiacs (13-2) at 7:30 PM at the R.J. Lalonde Arena. Pre-game coverage starts at 7:15 on Q105.7 FM.
Photo Credit: Dan Lines / Fort McMurray Oil Barons