The Brooks Bandits fell at home for the first time in the 2018-19 season on Saturday night, as a four-goal third period charge from the visiting Okotoks Oilers broke a 2-2 deadlock after two periods and gave the visitors a 6-3 win, tying the best of seven South Final at one game apiece.
Despite outshooting the Oilers 9-2 in the opening frame and 20-11 in the first two periods, the Bandits couldn’t take a lead, and found themselves outshot 13-3 in the final frame (and 24-23 overall in the game) en route to the loss.
Quinn Olson opened the scoring 2:35 into the game on a high wrist shot from the right circle, the Oilers’ first shot on goal of the match. Bobby Harrison (Waterdown, ON) tied it for Brooks on a backdoor tap in of a pass from Andrew Lucas (Alexandria, VA) at 9:51.
In the second, Kyle Gordon scored on a backhand shot on a 2-on-1 rush to make it 2-1 Okotoks, before just over a minute later a shot by Mack Hancock (Kingston, ON) along the goal line ricocheted off Oilers goalie Brady Parker and into the net to tie the game back up.
But in the third, the Bandits gave up the go-ahead goal early when Austin Wong scored from the slot right off a clean offensive zone faceoff win by the Oilers. With the Bandits in the box on an Arnaud Vachon cross-check call, Kaleb Ergang tipped in a Seth Bernard-Docker point shot to make it 4-2. Bandit captain Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) was later ejected on what was called a major penalty for a check to the head after a hard hit on Oiler forward Marc Pasemko. On the ensuing power play which became a 4-on-3 courtesy of two more penalties, Dylan Holloway scored on a wrist shot from the right circle to make it 5-2. Former Bandit Louis Jamernik added another for Okotoks at 13:57, stripping goalie Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) of the puck at the end wall and tucking it into an open Bandit cage for a 6-2 lead, before Tyler Campbell (Winnipeg, MB) cut the deficit with a goal at 14:33.
The teams will reconvene in Okotoks for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday nights at 7 PM. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 on Real Country 105.7.