Bandits 2-0 as regular AJHL season begins

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SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

Two regular season games in and the Bandits are first in the league with a pair of wins.
The season opened on Friday at home with a banner ceremony.
Three AJHL banners were unravelled in recognition of the team’s 2021-22 championships in the league’s south division, its regular season and as the overall league winners. The fourth banner recognizes the Bandits Centennial Cup national championship.
Hudson Malinoski of the Bandits who was exceptional in the pre-season for his scoring prowess got two of the team’s goals during Friday’s game helping the Bandits defeat the Calgary Canucks 5-1 with 1,385 fans present.
Heath Armstong, Ethan DeKay and Nathan Free got the team’s other three goals. A pair of assists were credited to Ethan O’Halloran and Dario Beljo and Caelan Fitzpatrick, Aiden Fink, Armstong, Free and Hughie Hooker had the balance of assists.
The Bandits travelled to Drumheller on Saturday blanking the Dinosaurs 4-0 with goals from Brendan Poshak, Fitzpatrick, an empty netter by Hunter Wallace and a powerplay goal by Fink.
Assists went to Elliot, Armstrong and a pair to Beljo.
The Bandits traded Cooper Brown to the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan league for future considerations. He has been traded back to the AJHL to the Drayton Valley Thunder for future considerations.
The Bandits also traded Logan Ziegler to Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan league.
Last week the Bandits announced the acquisition of 20-year-old forward Mikhal Simchuk and 19-year-old forward Danylo Korzhyletskyi from Sokol Kiev of the Ukraine Hockey League, the league is credited with producing NHL All-Stars including Dmytro Khrystych and Oleksiy Zhytnyk, Ruslan Fedotenko and Anton Babchuk to name a few.
Both of the Ukranian players are from Kyiv and are members of the U20 National Team.
Simchuk was also a member of the Ukraine Men’s National Team, playing in the Men’s Division 1 World Championship.
Korzhyletskyi finished second in scoring with five goals and nine assists in five games at a recent Division 1 World Junior Championship and Simchuk, 20, finished third in scoring with four goals and nine assists in five games.
A photo posted on the weekend shows that Korzhyletskyi was in Drumheller for the game, however, he was not on the player’s list.
“When we learned there was an ability to support Ukrainian players in Canada this season we started to explore how we could not only help the players but improve our team at the same time.
“Danny and Misha are two of the top U20 players in Ukraine and will bring our club added offensive depth,” said Bandits general manager and head coach, Ryan Papaioannou.
“They are coming from a country at war and have incredible experiences they have shared with our staff.”
He noted that the players are motivated and want the opportunity to contribute to the Bandits program while representing their country in a time of need.
“We’re excited to add them to our group and support them through the national team events they will attend this season.”

-with files from AJHL/Brooks Bandits