BROOKS, AB (December 2, 2017) – Pierre-Anthony Martineau (Sherbrooke, QC) led the way offensively with a goal and an assist, as the Brooks Bandits (19-10-1) won a feisty and rough affair with the Calgary Canucks (13-16-1) on Saturday night at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Calgary erased a 2-0 Bandit lead with 2 goals in just a 14 second span in the second, but Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) scored the game winner on a second period power play and Matt Cassidy (Medford, NJ) sealed the deal with an empty netter.
The Bandits opened the scoring on their newly re-energized power play at the 5:20 mark when Will Garin (Mound, MN) tapped in a backdoor feed from Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON). It was the third straight game in which Brooks has scored on its first power play of the game.
The first period featured just ten shots on goal, five a side, and the one Garin goal. The second was entirely different, with 29 total shots (19-10 Bandits) and four more goals.
First, Martineau doubled the Bandit lead with a shot from the slot that went off a Calgary defender’s leg and slipped behind goalie Erik Gordon.
But Kyler Newman scored on a delayed penalty with a slap shot from the half wall at 4:27, and Jordan McConnell fired in a goal from the top of the crease on the next shift at 4:41 to knot the score at 2-2. But those would be the only blemishes on the night for Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON), who made 23 saves on 25 shots.
Things got ugly soon after the tying goal, as Jakob LaPointe (Leduc, AB) was given a major penalty for goalie interference after bowling over Gordon. LaPointe was jumped by Newman in a brief fight, and both were ejected. Minutes later, McConnell jumped Martineau, but the Bandit forward smartly kept his gloves on, ensuring the Canuck would be the only ejected player, and turning an upcoming Canuck power play instead into a penalty kill.
That was the difference, as on that ensuing man advantage for Brooks, Martineau centered a puck from the right corner off the rush to Vachon at the net front, who deflected it home for the game winner.
In the third, the Canucks pulled the goalie with two minutes left, but in the final minute of play a diving poke check by Hamre sprung Cassidy in the neutral zone; he sped in and fired the puck into the open Canuck net to notch the 4-2 final.
The Bandits outshot the Canucks 32-25 in the game. They will hit the road Tuesday night to visit the Olds Grizzlys at 7 PM, with pre-game coverage starting at 6:45 PM on Real Country 105.7.
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