BROOKS, AB (November 30, 2016) – Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) scored two goals in his first game since November 11, and the Brooks Bandits (20-3-3) won their eighth straight game, 5-1 over the visiting Camrose Kodiaks at the Centennial Regional Arena on Wednesday night.
The win puts the Bandits back in first place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South division, tied in points with the Calgary Canucks but with 4 games in hand. The Bandits also tie the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for second overall in the AJHL standings, with 1 game in hand, and are 3 points out of first overall in the league with 6 games in hand on Whitecourt for that spot.
Hamre’s first goal opened the scoring at the 10:01 mark, when he carried into the Camrose zone along the right boards, cut around a defender and into the slot, and fired a quick wrister over the blocker of Kodiak goalie Patrick Gora for a 1-0 lead. Brooks outshot Camrose 16-7 in the opening frame, but held just the narrow lead.
That changed only 20 seconds into the second period, however, when Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) corralled the puck behind the Camrose net. Kodiak captain Jack Thomas attempted to hit Makar, but met the Bandit defenceman’s stiff shoulder and was sent flying onto his backside. Makar then cut to the front of the net and tucked a quick backhand shot between Gora’s pads for a highlight reel goal and 2-0 Brooks lead.
On a later Bandit power play, Makar’s one time blast from the slot produced a rebound at the side of the net, which Hamre backhanded in for his second of the night and eighth of his rookie campaign at the 11:20 mark. It also extended his point streak to 5 games, with 5 goals and 2 assists in that span, dating back to the 4 games prior to his November 11th injury.
Camrose took advantage of a Bandit turnover in the slot at the 13:21 mark when Mackenzie Bauer wired a shot past goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) from the left hashmarks. But it would be the only blemish on a stellar 19-save evening for Benson, his tenth win of the campaign and sixth straight win.
The Bandits reclaimed the 3-goal advantage in the final minute of the second with another power play goal; this one came off of a Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) centering pass that deflected off of the skate of Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) and past Gora to make it 4-1. The assist was Mappin’s 25th of the season and put him into the AJHL lead in that category.
The only goal of the third came 18:09 in when a Cale Makar pass from the high slot found Nic Vlahos (Mississauga, ON) at the right side of the Camrose net, whose quick shot snuck between Gora’s pads for the 5-1 final score.
The Bandits head on the road this coming weekend, with a Saturday night matchup with the Lloydminster Bobcats first on the agenda. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM, with pre-game coverage beginning at 7:15 on Real Country 105.7.