The Brooks Bandits are seven-time Alberta Junior Hockey League Champions as winners of the 2023 Inter Pipeline Cup. The Bandits defeated the Spruce Grove Saints in game five of the League Final on Friday night in front of a sold out crowd at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, AB.
AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk awarded Bandits goaltender Ethan Barwick as the 2023 AJHL Playoff MVP. Barwick (St. Albert, AB / Lindenwood University) was the 2022-23 Brooks Bandits Most Valuable Player and a finalist for the AJHL Top Goaltender Award. He won 12 games, posting a 2.13 goals against average, .915 save percentage and set a team record for career AJHL Playoff wins with 24.
Brooks has previously captured the AJHL Title in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019, 2022. This was the sixth meeting between the Bandits and Saints in the League Finals.
The Bandits and Saints each finished first in their respective divisions, with Brooks winning the AJHL Regular Season Championship with a 53-5-2 record and earning home ice advantage. The Bandits received a bye through the opening round of the AJHL playoffs, eliminated the Okotoks Oilers in game six of the South Division Semi-Final, then swept the Blackfalds Bulldogs in four games in the South Division Final.
The 2022-23 season was historic for the Brooks Bandits with a record of 53-5-1-1 (W-L-OTL) and 108 points. The Bandits entered the AJHL Record Book tied for second in the category of Most Wins in a Single Season (53), tied for third in the category of Most Points in a Single Season (108) and tied for fifth in AJHL history for Fewest Goals Allowed in a Single Season (113).
The Brooks Bandits are three-time National Champions, and defending Centennial Cup National Junior A Champions, following their most recent victory at the 2022 Centennial Cup Final. The Brooks Bandits will now advance to the 2023 Centennial Cup presented by Tim Hortons in Portage la Prairie from May 11-21, 2023. The Road to the Centennial Cup includes 117 teams in nine leagues – from Canmore, AB to Flin Flon to Campbellton, NB.