BROOKS, AB (January 29, 2016) – Garret Hughson (Foremost, AB) stopped all 27 shots he faced for his third shutout in just his eighth Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) game, as the Brooks Bandits (37-7-2) downed the Canmore Eagles (20-23-4) 4-0 on Friday night in front of 1,486 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena.
With the win, the Bandits remained 9 points ahead of the Camrose Kodiaks for first in the AJHL South division, and moved within 7 points of first overall in the league, with 4 games in hand on first-place Spruce Grove.
The Bandits opened the scoring at the 5:50 mark when a Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) centering pass from the right-wing corner found leading scorer Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, PQ) at the top of the crease. His quick shot snuck between the pads of goaltender Ryan Bontorin to make it 1-0.
But despite an 18-8 shot advantage in the first and a 20-7 shot lead in a scoreless second, the Bandits found themselves up by just one goal heading into the final frame.
However, the lead was finally extended in that third, when Charlie Marchand (Calgary, AB) flung a puck in front from the right corner, which deflected off of a Canmore player’s skate and into the net for a 2-0 lead. By setting up Marchand’s goal, forward Landon Welykholowa (Calgary, AB) extended his point streak to 7 games, with 6 goals and 4 assists in that span.
With less than 4 minutes left, Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) scored his team-leading 25th of the season on a top-left corner wrist shot from the slot, and just over two minutes later, a cross-crease pass by Derek Lodermeier (Brooklyn Center, MN) found Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) at the left side of the Canmore net to fire it into a yawning cage and make it 4-0. Lodermeier’s assist gave him two on the night, in addition to an assist for winning the faceoff on the first goal.
Hughson’s shutout dropped his goals against average back below 2 and his save percentage climbed to .924. Hughson once again leads the AJHL in G.A.A. at 1.98, and has the second-best save percentage.
The Bandits out shot Canmore 51-27 in the game, with both teams going 0-for-4 on their power play.
The Bandits will head to Canmore tomorrow night to finish the home-and-home series with a 7 PM puck drop at the Canmore Recreation Centre. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 PM on Q105.7.
Shoppers Drug Mart Player of the Game: #1 Garret Hughson
Boston Pizza Hardest Working Bandit: #12 Jesse Baird