BROOKS, AB (January 21, 2017) – The Brooks Bandits (36-3-4) extended their winning streak to 14 games, their streak of games without a regulation loss to 30, and raised thousands of dollars for the Canadian Mental Health Association in a 3-1 home win over the Calgary Canucks (27-14-3) on Saturday night in front of 1,579 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena.
The game was the Bandits’ annual Charity Jersey Night, with special one-time jerseys worn by the team up for auction throughout the night.
It took just two minutes for the home side to open the scoring, when Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) forced a turnover in the Calgary zone, chasing down a loose puck at the right corner and flinging a backhand centering pass through the slot to Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) at the left circle, whose one-timer beat Canuck goalie Logan Drackett for a 1-0 Bandit lead.
In the second, Brooks doubled its lead when a power play point shot by Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) was tipped home by Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) for his 8th power play goal of the season, the second-best total in the AJHL, and a 2-0 Brooks advantage.
Calgary got on the board early in the 3rd when Ben Assad’s shorthanded shot from the right halfboards beat Brooks goalie Mitch Benson to cut the score to 2-1. But it would be the only blemish on Benson’s night, as he recorded his 24th win of the season, stopping 22 of 23 Calgary shots.
Brooks got some insurance just over a minute after Calgary’s goal when Chau centered a puck from behind the Canuck net to Conner Jean (Oakland, MI) in the slot, for a quick one-timer goal and a 3-1 Bandit lead.
The Bandits and Canucks will meet again Tuesday night, with the setting switching to Calgary’s Max Bell Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM.