Photo Credit - Chad Goddard:
CALGARY, AB (November 3, 2019) – The Brooks Bandits (20-0) became just the second team in Alberta Junior Hockey League history to win their first 20 games of the season, downing the Calgary Canucks on the road 6-3 on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Bandits tie the 2012-13 iteration of their team, which was the only other AJHL squad to go 20-0. They can set a new record on Wednesday night when they host the Camrose Kodiaks.
Jake Lee (Owen Sound, ON) opened the scoring for Brooks on the power play 7:33 into the game when his centering pass on a power play deflected off a skate and in past goalie Jay Thomson. On the very next shift, Tim Rego (Mansfield, MA) put a perfect pass from the right corner to a waiting Mason Reeves (Toronto, ON) at the net front, who tipped it home for his first Junior A goal and a 2-0 Brooks lead.
But Calgary stormed back with back-to-back power play goals in the first; Max Mazur scored at 12:54 on a sharp angle shot, while Christiano Aiello had a puck deflect home past Ethan Barwick (St. Albert, AB) at 17:29.
But in the second, the Bandits outshot the Canucks 20-6 and took firm control of the game with three more goals. First, Brayden Krieger (Elora, ON) beat a defender to the left circle and feathered a pass across for a backdoor tap in by Hernandez to make it 3-2 just 96 seconds into the frame. Then, at 9:34, the Bandits converted on their second power play when Krieger scored on a backdoor setup from Trey Thomas (Williams Lake, B.C.). Finally, Thomas was the recipient of a great pass from behind the net by James McIsaac (Winnipeg, MB) at 17:47, sniping a short side shot to make it 5-2.
The Bandits began the third period on the power play and scored just 18 seconds in when Hernandez swept in a shot from the side of the net set up by a Krieger pass from behind the goal. Calgary got closer when Jackson Zloty tipped in an Aiello point shot at 7:30, but it would be as close as the Canucks would get.
The Bandits outshot the Canucks 45-15 in the game, going 3 for 7 on the power play and 5 for 8 on the penalty kill.
They host Camrose at a new 6:30 PM start time on Wednesday evening, with a chance to become the first ever AJHL team to go 21-0. Tickets for the game are available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.