CAMROSE, AB – With seven players sitting in the stands, the Brooks Bandits (15-6-1) couldn’t finish a comeback against the host Camrose Kodiaks (5-10-5) on Friday night, falling in regulation by a 3-2 score.
The loss keeps the Bandits 1 point behind Okotoks for first place in the South, but with the Oilers having 4 games in hand.
Brooks was missing forward Nathan Plessis and defenceman Jakob LaPointe due to suspension, with injuries to Tyler Carangelo, Luke Bast, Louis Jamernik, Ryan Mahshie, and David D’Agostino rounding out the scratches. Forward Taylor Makar and defenceman David Dach made their AJHL debuts as affiliates, but it still left the Bandits two players short of a full roster.
Camrose had the only goal of the first on a Carson Welke wrist shot from the left circle, in a period in which they outshot the Bandits 11-7. But Brooks would outshoot the Kodiaks 30-19 the rest of the way.
Simon Boyko swept in a shot from the slot on a Dennis Cesana setup from the right corner 10:24 into the second to tie the game, but Camrose regained the lead on their first power play of the game on a Zach Vinnell point shot less than two minutes later. The Kodiaks were 1 for 2 on the power play while the Bandits were 0 for 3.
Before the second was out, Brock Bremer scored on a shot from the right corner to give Camrose a two-goal cushion. Though Arnaud Vachon got the Bandits to within one with a rebound goal just 29 seconds into the third, the Kodiaks held on for the one goal win to snap their 11-game losing streak. Griffin Bowerman made 35 saves on 37 shots for the win while Mitch Benson stopped 27 of 30.
The Bandits have Saturday off before hosting the first place Okotoks Oilers in an afternoon game at the CRA on Sunday. Puck drop is at 4 o’clock with tickets for fans 65 and up just $5 for Seniors Day, and tickets available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
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