Earlier this week, the Brooks Bandits had the opportunity to set an Alberta Junior Hockey League record for regular season wins.
They were also chasing an AJHL record for most points in one campaign.
Nailed that too.
But as they found out quickly last year, those accomplishments may look good on a wall — yet they matter very little when you are sitting and watching the team that ousted you battle for a national championship. A year ago, after blowing through the AJHL with one of the franchise’s best teams, the Bandits bowed to the Penticton Vees in the Doyle Cup final in five games. The powerhouse Vees advanced and eventually won the Royal Bank Cup.
“We’ve talked a lot with guys that were here last year, just about making sure that everybody understands how we played in the end,” pointed out Brooks head coach Ryan Papaioannou. “I guess that’s the whole thing with having experience now is we better take the experience we have and use it.
“We can play as good as we want in the regular season but if we don’t follow it up with playoffs and get to where we need to be . . . ultimately, our goal is to have a longer run than last year. Or it’s kind of all for naught.”
Papaioannou has high expectations, but it’s part of the reason the Bandits are in the situation they are.
Full Story from The Calgary Herald