BROOKS, AB (January 20, 2016) – Fresh off of inducting Calgary Flames goaltender Chad Johnson into the team’s new Wall of Fame, the Brooks Bandits got points from all 18 skaters in a 13-1 win over the Calgary Mustangs in front of a season-high crowd of 1,629 on Friday night.
Johnson, the first goalie to backstop the Bandits to a playoff appearance and series win, brought his parents, Terry and Karen, as well as his former billet in Brooks Sandra Sandheim, onto the ice for the pre-game ceremony, which featured a video tribute to Johnson’s career from Brooks, to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, to the NHL, followed by the unveiling of the new wall, and remarks from Johnson himself to the near capacity crowd, before dropping the ceremonial opening faceoff.
The first period saw the Bandits outshoot Calgary 17-5 and open up an early lead; first with a Nathan Plessis tip of a Dennis Cesana point shot at 12:53, then Orca Wiesblatt’s first Junior A goal on a wrist shot from the left circle at 15:57, and finally a Cale Makar wrist shot from the slot with just 13 seconds left in the period.
But it was in the second that the Bandits pulled away for good, notching eight goals in the frame and outshooting Calgary 25-3.
Just 17 seconds into the period, Conner Jean rushed down ice off of a defensive zone faceoff, beat his defender, and scored a highlight reel breakaway goal to make it 4-0. Cesana added the fifth on a wrist shot from the right circle, while Arnaud Vachon backhanded the sixth goal in from the left side of the net at 6:09 to chase starting goalie Bailey Brkin from the game, replaced by Mike Barabash. But on the very next shift, a Charlie Marchand point shot was tipped in by Ty Mappin to give Brooks a 7-0 lead with goals just 19 seconds apart.
Three minutes later, Oliver Chau sniped home his 25th of the season from the left circle for an 8-0 advantage, while Parker Foo tipped a long shot by Jean at 11:40 to give the home side nine. Kord Pankewicz scored his first as a Bandit with a power play shot from the slot at 13:23 to hit double digits, while Parker Huebner capped off the second period scoring with a shot from the slot at 14:22 for an 11-0 advantage.
In the third, the Mustangs put Brkin back in the net, and the period moved quickly until Wiesblatt scored his second of the night, again from the left circle on a wrist shot set up by a backdoor pass from Marchand, for a 12-0 Brooks advantage. An attempted pass by Brkin deflected off of Jake Theis’ stick and into the slot for a Nathan Plessis tap-in goal to finish the Bandit scoring with a 13-0 lead. With 1:45 left, a tipped wrist shot by Tayden Woods beat goalie Alex Horawski, who otherwise stopped 17 of 18 shots on the night for his tenth career win.
The Bandits outshot the Mustangs 56-18 in the game, going 2 for 4 on the power play and a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. They return for a second home game Saturday night, hosting the Calgary Canucks and wearing special charity jerseys to support the Canadian Mental Health Association. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM with tickets available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
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