BROOKS, AB (October 23, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (8-3-2) never led Sunday night, falling 3-2 in regulation to the Calgary Mustangs (3-13) at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.
The loss is the first for the Bandits against the Mustangs since February 10, 2014 in Calgary, which was also a 1-goal loss, 4-3. The team however remains in striking distance of first place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South standings, 5 points back of the first-place Calgary Canucks with 3 games in hand.
The game got off to an inauspicious start for the visitors when the Bandits were called for a penalty just 9 seconds in. Calgary converted on the ensuing power play when a Jordan Xavier shot from the left circle produced a rebound that Kylor Wall swatted past goalie Mitchel Benson (Windsor, ON) to make it a 1-0 game.
The Bandits tied things up on a delayed penalty with just over five minutes in the period when Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) spun and fired a short in short side on goalie Bailey Brkin from the left-wing circle.
After falling behind in shots 6-2 in the first, the Bandits rhymed off 15 consecutive shots on goal to finish the period with a 17-6 shot advantage, yet remained deadlocked.
In the second, the Mustangs took the lead when the Bandits were stripped of the puck in the right-wing corner, and a quick centering feed found Sine Chadi in the slot for a one-time goal and a 2-1 advantage.
But Brooks again tied the score, this time when Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) hesitated with possession in the slot, and ripped home a quick wrist shot at the 10:12 mark to make it 2-2. The Bandits again more than tripled their opponents in shots in the second, 17-5, for a 34-11 shot lead after two.
In the third, the only goal came after Parker Huebner (Leduc, AB) was called for tripping at the 9:30 mark, when he pushed down a puck-carrier as he entered the Bandits zone. On the ensuing power play, Jordan Xavier found a loose puck at the right side of the Brooks net and tapped in the game-winning goal, as the Mustangs withstood a late 3rd-period flurry.
The Bandits next head on the road to take on the league-leading Fort McMurray Oil Barons in a rare Thursday night game at the Casman Centre at 7:30 PM.