Whale makes 21 saves as the Bandits blank the Bulldogs 8-0 at CRA for 17th straight win

BROOKS, AB (November 6, 2021) – Goaltender Jared Whale made 21 saves and the Brooks Bandits powered their way to their 17th consecutive win, shutting out the Blackfalds Bulldogs 8-0 on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

The Bandits (18-1) sit in 1st place in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with 36 points, two points ahead of the North Division’s 1st place Spruce Grove Saints.

Photo: Em Duncan

Highlights from Days Inn & Suites:

After some early key saves from Whale, Bandits forward Dario Beljo opened the scoring 6:21 into the game as he one-timed an Ethan Lund (Niagara) behind-the-net pass to make it 1-0 Brooks. That was followed by a Bulldogs turnover in their own zone to forward TJ Hughes (Mercyhurst), who found defenceman Zach Bookman (Merrimack) in the right circle and fired a shot that found the back of the net to make it 2-0 with under five minutes left in the period. Shots were 10-9 Brooks in the 1st.

Forward Devin Phillips (Holy Cross) fired in a right circle shot 5:34 into the 2nd on the powerplay to increase the lead to 3-0. That was followed by a Hunter Wallace (RPI) goal at 10:28, after banking a puck off a Bulldog defender on a sharp angle shot to add to the lead. Brooks closed out the 2nd period with a Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) goal, who tapped in a Phillips pass from the right circle to make it 5-0 in the final two minutes of the period. Shots were 17-2 Brooks.

Just 39 seconds into the 3rd, forward Aiden Fink (Wisconsin) finished off an Anthony Cipollone pass to increase the lead to 6-0. Two minutes later, Beljo scored his second on a scramble in the crease where Bulldogs starter Joe Young was unable to cover a loose puck, making it 7-0. Then, with just over three minutes remaining defenceman Brendan Kennette (Sacred Heart) fired in a shot on a 2-on-1 rush with forward Jack Seymour (Holy Cross) to make it 8-0, the final. Shots in the 3rd were 9-9, and final shots were 37-21 Brooks.

Postgame comments from Jared Whale:

Postgame comments from Zach Bookman:

Next game for the Bandits is Wednesday, November 10 when they host the Olds Grizzlys at 6:30 pm. There will be a pregame Remembrance Day ceremony featuring members of the Brooks Legion.