OKOTOKS, AB – The Brooks Bandits (44-4-4) bounced back from an early 1-0 deficit, scoring 6 straight goals on the 5th-ranked defence in the AJHL en route to a 6-1 win over the Okotoks Oilers on Friday night.
With the win, the Bandits achieve the 4th-most wins in franchise history, and only need 6 points out of their remaining 8 games to guarantee the Dave Duchak Trophy as regular season champions.
Okotoks opened the scoring at the 4:45 mark when former Bandit Tyler Levine got to a loose puck at the front of the net and slipped it past goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON). It would be the only blemish on Benson’s night, though, as he stopped 28 of 29 Okotoks shots for his league-leading 32nd win.
The Bandits knotted it up at 11:03 when Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) collected a puck behind the Okotoks net and scored on a wraparound. Then, in the final minute of the first, captain Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB), returning after a 10-game injury absence, tapped a puck in from the left side of the net on a cross-slot setup by linemate Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) for his 26th of the year and a 2-goal Brooks advantage.
The Bandits pulled away in the second period, scoring 5:24 in on a power play when Foo tipped home a Joe O’Connor point shot to make it 3-1. Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) then recorded his 30th goal of his rookie season at 10:03 on a low shot from the left circle. Just over four minutes later, a long slap shot from the right point by Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN) made it 5-1, before Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) capped off the scoring at 18:28 with a power play goal from the bottom of the right circle.
The Bandits went 2 for 5 on the power play and did not go on the penalty kill during the game.
The team returns home tomorrow night to take on the Calgary Mustangs at the Centennial Regional Arena. The game is Seniors Night, with fans 65 and over getting in for just $5. Tickets are available at tickets.brooksbandits.ca with puck drop at 7 o’clock.