BROOKS, AB - The Brooks Bandits rebounded from Friday night’s series-opening loss with a 3-1 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings in Game 2 of the 2019 Doyle Cup on Saturday night at the Centennial Regional Arena, posting the franchise’s first-ever home win in a BCHL/AJHL matchup.
With the win, the Bandits force a third game in Brooks on Sunday night at 7 PM, for which tickets are already on sale at tickets.brooksbandits.ca, before the series shifts permanently to British Columbia starting on Wednesday night.
In similar fashion to the Spruce Kings having opened Game 1’s scoring less than a minute in, Brooks struck early in Game 2, with a goal from Tyler Campbell (Winnipeg, MB) coming after a masterful setup by Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) behind the net, who found the Bandit rookie in the slot tape-to-tape for a one-timer than beat Kings goalie Logan Neaton.
With Brooks on the power play, Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) doubled the lead at the 8:44 mark when he spun and fired a tight angle shot from the goal line that slid between Neaton’s pads and into the Spruce Kings net.
It capped off a dominant opening frame for Brooks in which they outshot the visitors 22-3, a far cry from being outshot 11-6 by Prince George in the opening game.
But the tide turned in the second when Brooks failed to get a shot off after passing on a 3-on-1 rush; the Spruce Kings quickly counterattacked, getting a 2-on-1 rush and seeing puck carrier Finlay Williams elect to shoot; his shot sailed by the glove of Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) to cut the Bandit lead in half.
It would be the only mark against Charleson on the night, however, as the AJHL All-League goalie stopped 13 of 14 Prince George shots, and got an important insurance marker from his team 6:22 into the third when Jake Lee (Owen Sound, ON) spun in the slot and fired a wrister into the top corner, using a defender as a screen, to notch the 3-1 final.
Brooks outshot the Spruce Kings 9-4 in the third, and 41-14 in the game as they tied the best-of-seven series at 1 game apiece.
Game 3 is set for 7 PM on Sunday at the Centennial Regional Arena, with pre-game coverage starting at 6:45 PM on Real Country 105.7.
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