COBOURG, ON – The Brooks Bandits are going to the RBC Cup national championship final for the second time in franchise history, after defeating the Quebec champion Terrebonne Cobras on Saturday night 4-0 at the Cobourg Community Centre.
The Bandits will take on the tournament host team, the Cobourg Cougars, who downed the Penticton Vees 3-1 in the earlier semi-final.
The winning goal came just 4:51 into the game, the lone goal of a first period in which the Bandits outshot the Cobras 18-9 but were repeatedly stymied by goaltender Jeremy Belisle. But Brooks broke through when Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) forced a turnover along the boards and spun a puck down low to Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.), who quick centering feed on a 2-on-1 down low found Tyler Carangelo (Hamden, CT) in the slot for a point blank goal and a 1-0 lead on the Bandit rookie’s first point of the tournament.
In the second, the Bandits doubled the lead when captain Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) dug a puck free at the end wall and centered to Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB), who one-timed the puck in from the top of the crease to make it 2-0.
That gave way to a third period in which the Brooks power play broke through twice. First, Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) slapped home a man advantage marker from the right circle for a 3-0 lead at the 4:36 mark, and just over three minutes later Prkusic wristed a long shot home from the high slot to notch the 4-0 final score.
Bandit goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) stopped all 28 shots he faced for his second shutout of the tournament.
The Bandits will take on the Cobourg Cougars with the national championship on the line with puck drop at 3:30 PM Alberta time and pre-game coverage beginning at 3:00 PM on Real Country 105.7. The game will be televised nationally on TSN and shown live at the Centennial Regional Arena on the video board.
A win would mark the team’s second national championship, after the Bandits won in 2013 downing the host Summerside Western Capitals in PEI.
(Photo: Matthew Murnaghan / Hockey Canada Images)