BROOKS, AB - For just the second time this season, the Brooks Bandits (15-7-1) have dropped back-to-back games following a 5-1 loss to the first-place Okotoks Oilers on Sunday (17-2-1) at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Brooks was missing six regulars and had only four defenceman dressed. The defeat keeps Brooks four points behind Okotoks, who's played three fewer games, for the top spot in the division.
The Oilers struck quickly on the powerplay just 2:54 into the game. Defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker picked up a rebound off a Carson Beers point shot and scored to give Okotoks an early lead.
With just over six minutes remaining, Okotoks took a 2-0 lead thanks to another powerplay goal, this time on a seeing-eye point shot from Beers.
The Bandits’ only goal of the game came with just over six minutes to go in the second period. Forward Conner Jean (Oakland, MI) scored his team-leading 12th goal after back-handing a deflection off his linemate Matt Cassidy's (Medford, NJ) skate to cut the Oiler lead to 2-1.
However, a comeback was thwarted when Bernard-Docker finished off an odd-man rush and scored short-handed to make it 3-1 with 2:28 left in the second period.
Okotoks put the game out of reach by adding two more goals in the third period. The first came at the 5:30 mark, as Austin Wong buried a rebound from the right circle. Oilers forward Kaleb Ergang made it 5-1 at the 16:49 mark by going cross bar-down on a backhand shot.
The announced attendance was 1,278. Okotoks outshot the Bandits 33-30 in the game, with Riley Morris making 29 saves for the win while Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) stopped 28 of 33.
The Bandits will head to Canmore from November 17-18 for back-to-back games against the Eagles at the Canmore Rec Centre. Listen to the games live on Real County 105.7 starting at 6:45 pm each night.
Their next home game is Tuesday, November 21 in a rematch against the Oilers. It's 2 for 1 Tuesday for adult tickets, which are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
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