BROOKS, AB (September 19, 2015) — The Brooks Bandits (3-1) never led for the first time this season, dropping a 4-2 home decision to the visiting Okotoks Oilers (2-1) on Saturday night in front of 1,480 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena.
It marked the first time in more than a full season that the Oilers had defeated the Bandits in a regular or post-season game, with the last instance being February 8, 2014,
Two power play goals in the opening period gave Okotoks the early advantage, with Tanner Schachle converting a cross-slot pass at the 3:28 mark, and former Bandit affiliate Reece Soukoroff beating goaltender Josh Davies (Guelph, ON) with a long point shot through a screen at 15:28. Special teams proved a difficult task on the night, with the Bandits allowing a shorthanded first period breakaway to Oiler captain Connor Chambers, requiring a sprawling pad save by Davies to keep the deficit manageable.
In the second period, on the heels of a 12-7 shot advantage, the Bandits finally solved Oiler goalie Riley Morris with just 3.8 seconds showing on the clock when Jared Cockrell (Byfield, MA) tipped a Taylor Karel (Eagan, MN) point shot for his second goal of the season.
In the third, however, Soukoroff scored his second of the night after a Davies save on another wrist shot from the slot, when he collected a clearance off of a Bandits stick and fired a long shot into an open net for a 3-1 Oiler advantage.
Veteran Logan Aasman (Medicine Hat, AB), clawed the home team back within 1 at the 16:15 mark when a Shane Bear (Calgary, AB) point shot deflected off of a skate and came to the former WHLer, whose spinning wrister beat Morris to make it 3-2. With the second assist on the night, Cockrell secured a multi-point night, and alongside Bear became one of two Bandits to score a point in all 4 games this season.
But rookie Cooper Page ended the hopes of a comeback when he took the puck off of a Bandits turnover on a breakout, and slapped it into an empty net to notch the 5-3 final.
The Bandits outshot the Oilers 38-27 in the game, going 0 for 8 on the power play and 4 for 6 on the penalty kill. Next, they will hit the road to take on Fort McMurray and Bonnyville on Friday and Saturday nights, with broadcasts available on Q105.7 beginning at 7:45 and 7:15 respectively.