Brooks Bandits had a busy week in the AJHL. They not only split games with the Calgary Mustangs but made player acquisitions, trades and dealt with a 10 game suspension.
The league leading Bandits had their 10 game AJHL winning streak snapped last Tuesday evening with a 4-3 loss to the host Calgary Mustangs.
Calgary dominated the opening period outshooting the Bandits 14-8 and holding a 3-0 lead after over just three minutes of play.
The Mustangs scored two even strength goals and closed out the period scoring with a power play goal at 3:12.
The Bandits turned on the pressure in the second and third periods but could not complete a comeback.
Simon Boyko (Jakob Lee) made it 3-1 at 7:50 of the second period and Andranik Armstrong (Justin Ross and Taylor Makar) cut the deficit to one goal at 12:18.
The Bandits outshot the Mustangs 14-9.
Calgary’s Tanner Klassen scored the game winner 54 seconds into the third period.
The Bandits refused to give up and pulled to within one goal at 15:48 courtesy of a Jakob Lee (Simon Gravel and William Lemay) shot.
Brooks outshot Calgary 15-8 in the period and 37-31 overall.
The Bandits failed to connect on their lone chance with the man advantage while the Mustangs were good on one of three power plays.
Play Friday night had the Bandits gaining revenge against the Mustangs with a 7-4 home ice win.
This contest was close for two periods before the home team pulled away with three consecutive third period markers.
The Mustangs opened the scoring 58 seconds into the contest with a power play goal but the Bandits tied the game with a power play marker of their own by Jake Theis (Ryan Mahshie and Ray Christy) at 7:38.
Christy (Luke Bast and Theis) gave the Bandits a brief lead at 9:57 before the Mustangs answered with a goal at 10:30.
Lemay, who hit a goal post and crossbar with shots, closed out the period scoring with his first of two goals at 15:05. Andrew Lucas and Simon Gravel) drew assists.
The Bandits outshot the Mustangs 18-8.
Second period action had the teams trading goals. Calgary scored on an unassisted breakaway by Daniel Rybariki at 2:45 and the Bandits countered with a Jakob Lee marker (Lemay and Theis) at 16:09.
The Bandits outshot the Mustangs 12-4.
In the third period, Arnaud Vachon (Lucas and Christy) made it 5-3 48 seconds after the puck dropped.
Lemay (Lucas and Christy) followed with a power play goal at 9:26 and Gravel (Randy Hernandez and Orca Wiesblatt) rounded out the Brooks scoring at 14:36.
Calgary’s Brady Barclay scored the final goal on the power play at 18:38.
The Bandits outshot the Mustangs 21-4 and 51-16 overall. They were good on two of five power plays while the Mustangs connected on two of three chances.
Lemay was named the Brooks game star.
Head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou’s team were missing seven regulars last Tuesday due to either injury or suspension.
Defenceman Wyatt Willalta sat out his first of a 10 game suspension handed out by the AJHL following a a review of hit against a Drayton Valley Thunder player on Wednesday, Nov 21.
Villalta was originally assessed a major penalty for fighting but the review found he should have been assessed a match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure. Therefore a disciplinary report states Brooks Bandits’ player, Wyatt Villalta, is suspended for ten (10) games as per Rule #1.2 of the Junior “A” Supplement.
In other Bandits news, the team last week acquired 19-year-old forward Randy Hernández (Miami, FL).
Hernández, joins the team after starting the season with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he registered two assists in 16 games.
Also joining the team is 18-year-old goaltender Tanner Marshall (Kelowna, B.C.)
He was acquired last week from the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) in exchange for future considerations.
Marshall appeared in nine games for Trail in his second season with the team, posting a 2-4 record with a 3.22 goals against average and .884 save percentage. The year prior, he went 9-6 in 18 games, with a 4.51 goals against and .875 save percentage.
The Bandits also dealt Orca Wiesblatt to the Portage Terriers and goaltender Josh Graziano to the Brantford 99ers. Both trades are for future considerations.
As of 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, all AJHL teams were required to submit a roster of not more than 25 players, of which two must be goaltenders.
The Bandits will be back in action Tuesday when the travel to Calgary to take on the Mustangs. The South Division leaders will then return home to host the Calgary Canucks Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Canucks currently sit in seventh place in the South Division standings with nine points, one more than the Olds Grizzlys.
The Bandits will also host the Canmore Eagle’s Friday in the team’s Teddy Bear toss contest. Fans are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal and throw it onto the ice when the Bandits score their first goal. Stuffed animals will be collected and given to the Scotiabank’s Smiles For Christmas program. Over 800 stuffed animals were collected last year.
Canmore was tied for third place with the Camrose Kodiaks as of Sunday morning. Both teams have 33 points, five back of the Drumheller Dragons.