BROOKS, AB (November 5, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits (12-3-3) held a late 3-2 lead Saturday night, but a last-minute goal an early overtime winner gave the visiting Spruce Grove Saints (15-5-2) the two points at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The Bandits outshot the Saints 34-31 in the game, have still not been outshot in a game this year, and moved into first place in the AJHL South, tied in standings points with the Calgary Canucks but with 2 games in hand.
Spruce Grove notched the only goal of the first period when a long wrist shot from the blue line by Jordan Thomas found the back of the net and made it a 1-0 game.
Brooks responded early in the second period when captain Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) drove to the front of the net, lost the puck, but was backed up by Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) who fired home a goal from the top of the crease to tie the game on the first shift of the second, just 19 seconds in.
The Bandits outshot the Saints 14-4 in the period, but it took until the final minute of the frame for the Bandits to take their first lead, when a long Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON) point shot beat goalie Nolan Kent to make it 2-1.
But Spruce Grove tied it just over three minutes into the third on a Brett Smythe wraparound goal. Brooks retook the lead with 4:01 left in regulation when Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) deked around a defender at the left corner, cut in front of the Saints net, and tucked a puck past Kent for a highlight reel go-ahead goal.
But after missing a chance at an empty net, the Bandits allowed the tying goal in the final minute when Conner Lukan tipped a Jordan Thomas point shot to send it to overtime tied 3-3.
On the first shift of overtime, an attempted stretch pass by Makar from his own end boards was picked off in the slot by Saints forward Josh Harris, who waited and then fired home the game winning goal past goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) to give Spruce Grove the dramatic 4-3 road win.
The Bandits hit the road Tuesday night for their next game against the Olds Grizzlys; puck drop is at 7:00 PM with pre-game coverage starting at 6:45 PM on Q105.7.