CANMORE, AB – Mack Hancock led the way with two goals and an assist, as the Brooks Bandits completed a 3-game sweep of their best-of-five AJHL South quarterfinal series with the Canmore Eagles on Sunday afternoon, downing their opposition by a 4-0 final score.
The game marked the second consecutive shutout for Brooks goaltender Mitch Benson, who stopped all 20 shots he faced and extended his shutout streak to 153 minutes and 28 seconds.
Hancock’s game-opening goal at the 1:38 mark came after a Shane Bear point shot was saved by Canmore goalie Thomas Davis. Hancock pounced on the rebound in the slot and backhanded a top shelf shot into the back of the net to give the Bandits the early advantage.
Minutes later, Benson was called into action on a Quinton Ong breakaway when he made a classic kick save to knock the puck away on the unobstructed chance. A few shifts later, with Canmore on a power play, Hancock was sprung on a breakaway, and he tucked a low backhand shot by Davis to double the Brooks advantage.
The second period was scoreless despite a 14-6 Bandit shot lead that gave the visitors a 32-11 shot lead after the opening 40. Davis made a bevy of backdoor saves to keep his team within striking distance entering the final frame.
But Louis Jamernik put an end to those notions with a perfectly placed wrist shot on a 2 on 1 at the 2:29 mark from the right circle to give the Bandits a 3-0 advantage, before his linemate Ryan Mahshie finished off the scoring at 7:19 by jamming home a rebound goal from the side of the net, only seconds after Benson had made another point blank save on a Canmore chance.
The Bandits finished the series having outscored the Eagles 15-1 in the three games.
The Bandits now advance to the AJHL South Semi-Final which is tentatively scheduled to begin on Friday and Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena with puck drop projected for 7 PM each night. When the schedule is finalized, tickets will be available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
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