BROOKS, AB – In what could be best described as a dominant performance, the Brooks Bandits (20-10-1) picked up their 20th win of the season with an 8-1 stomping of the Olds Grizzlys (12-19-1) on Tuesday night.
Goaltender Mitchel Benson (Windsor, ON) recorded 18 saves and six different Bandits scored to extend the Bandits winning streak to four games. Brooks has only given up four goals over that span.
Brooks struck first just 2:26 into the game, as captain Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) took what seemed like a harmless shot from the top of the right circle that handcuffed Grizzly goaltender Andrew Henderson to make it 1-0. Exactly three minutes later, Bandits forward Will Garin (Mound, MN) jumped on a rebound and scored from the bottom of the right circle put his team up 2-0. Brooks held Olds to just one shot in the first period.
The Bandits came out of the first intermission and wouldn’t relent. Garin had another rebound kicked out to him and he scored in similar fashion just 56 seconds into the frame to make it 3-0. Less than four minutes later, Bandits forward Matt Cassidy (Medford, NJ) scored off an offensive zone faceoff won by centre Pierre-Anthony Martineau (Sherbrooke, QC) and surprised the Grizzly goaltender. Then, with under nine minutes to go in the second, defenceman Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) was the recipient of a Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) pass and riffled it into the Olds net, ending Henderson’s night who was pulled after allowing five goals on 23 shots. Josh Brindza took over, but wouldn’t fare any better.
Brooks went up 6-0 just over eight minutes into the third period thanks to a top-shelf snipe on a 2-on-1 rush from forward Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, BC). At this point, all Bandit goals had been scored at even-strength. Then, with under nine minutes to play, Martineau potted his first goal of the night on the power play from the side of the net on a nifty setup by Nolan Thompson (Calgary, AB) to put Brooks on top 7-0.
However, Benson’s shutout bid would be spoiled with just over five minutes to go, as the Grizzlys were the beneficiaries of a 5-on-3 powerplay and scored thanks to the puck being tipped-off a Bandit high stick. But Brooks paid the Grizzlys back less than two minutes later thanks to Martineau’s second of the night, set up by Plessis.
Brooks outshot Olds 43-19 in the game as the powerplay went 1 for 3, while the penalty kill was 5 for 6.
The Bandits will look to extend their winning streak on Friday when they play an off-site game in Strathmore against the Calgary Canucks, which is a 7:30 pm start. You can hear the game live on Real Country 105.7 FM starting at 7:15.
The next home game goes Saturday, December 9, when they host the Grizzlys in a rematch. It’s Teddy Bear Toss night at the Centennial Regional Arena presented by Scotiabank. Fans are asked to bring a bear or buy one at the game and throw it on the ice when the Bandits score their first goal. The bears will be donated to Scotiabank’s Smiles for Christmas campaign. Game time is at 7:00 pm; tickets are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
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