BROOKS, AB (November 4, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (12-3-2) made it four straight wins, outshooting the visiting Drayton Valley Thunder by a whopping 49-10 margin and winning 6-4 in their return home Friday night in front of 1,244 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) scored the game’s first two goals, the first a power play blast from the left point at 1:42, and the second a highlight reel rush as he took a pass from Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) at his own blue line, sped through the neutral zone and through several defenders to the Thunder slot, firing a quick wrist shot past goalie Joseph McLeod to make it 2-0.
Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) finished the early offensive onslaught with a power play goal at 7:12, as he collected a puck at the right side of the net after a Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) blue line slap shot had missed the net and rang off the end boards; Chau’s quick backhand shot slid past a sprawling McLeod to give Brooks the 3-0 advantage.
Before the period was out, though, Drayton Valley chipped away with two goals of its own, the first a Matt Benko power play shot from the high slot, the second a Nolan Krewusik power play goal as he batted a puck out of midair at the left side of the Brooks net to cut the deficit to 1.
A scoreless second gave way to another Brooks offensive outburst in the third. Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) forced a turnover at the left point, skating down the boards and firing a shot from the left circle that McLeod saved. But Mappin collected his own rebound and fired it into the DV net to extend his team-leading point streak to 16 games and make it 4-2.
Less than a minute later, a Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, BC) shot from the slot deflected off of the skate of Austin Wright (Niagara Falls, ON) at the side of the net. Wright’s quick shot was a stellar glove save by McLeod, but the puck rolled over to Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) at the left circle, whose high shot found the back of the DV net to make it a 5-2 Brooks advantage.
On a late power play, Mappin registered another point when his high slot pass found Chau at the left side of the net for a backdoor tap-in just 9 seconds into the man advantage and a 6-2 Brooks lead.
With that goal, Chau extended his league lead in power play goals with 11 – no other player in the AJHL has more than 5.
Drayton Valley scored twice in the final minute off goals from Braden Jakubowski and Tyler Benko to make it a 6-4 final score.
Brooks next hosts the Spruce Grove Saints on Saturday night at 7:00 PM in a rematch of last season’s AJHL Final. Tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.