DRAYTON VALLEY, AB (January 28, 2017) – Defenceman Kord Pankewicz (Drayton Valley, AB) had the game-winning goal and an assist in his hometown rink, as the Brooks Bandits (39-3-4) became just the 7th team in Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) history to win 17 consecutive games, downing the host Drayton Valley Thunder 4-2 on Saturday night.
It was the second time in as many years that the Bandits had registered a 17 game winning streak, and places the team just 3 wins back of the team record set in 2012-13, and 4 back of the league record.
A tightly played first period, in which the Bandits outshot the Thunder by just a 10-9 margin, featured only one goal; the second in as many games for Nic Hamre (Ottawa, ON), who one-timed a pass from Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) from the left circle past Drayton Valley goalie Joseph McLeod to make it 1-0.
Despite a much wider shot margin, 21-6 for the Bandits, in the second, the teams traded one goal each. First, Arnaud Vachon (Ajax, ON) one-timed a power play goal in from the right-wing circle at the 4:54 mark to make it a 2-0 Bandit lead. But a point shot from Carson Lux just over a minute later took a deflection in the slot and slid past Bandit goalie Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) to make it a 1-goal game again.
In the third, Pankewicz opened the scoring just 2:47 in when his slapshot from the left point beat McLeod and made it a 3-1 game. But the Thunder made it close again with just over 5 minutes left when Chris Breese deposited a power play rebound goal from the left side of the Bandit net to close the gap to 3-2.
But the Bandits held on against late pressure, and Hamre spun a puck to the red line for Jake Theis (Chanhassen, MN), who fired in an empty net goal from the neutral zone to guarantee the Bandits the win.
Brooks next heads on the road for another match with the Calgary Canucks, Wednesday night at the Max Bell Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 on Real Country 105.7.
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