BROOKS, AB (October 4, 2019) – James McIsaac (Winnipeg, MB) scored the game-winning goal in his first game with his new team, and the Brooks Bandits (7-0) continued their season-opening winning streak with a 4-2 home victory over the Camrose Kodiaks on Friday night in front of a crowd of 1,352 at the Centennial Regional Arena.
Reilly Connors (Madison, CT) opened the scoring at the 10:04 mark of the game, backhanding home a rebound goal of a David Paluch (Oakville, ON) point shot to give Brooks the lead in a period in which they outshot the Kodiaks 13-3.
Late in the first, Bandit forward Mason Reeves (Toronto, ON) was ejected after a shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Brennan Davis of Camrose that sent the Kodiak defenceman awkwardly into the end boards. Reeves was assessed a major penalty for boarding, but Camrose forward Erik Boers was given a minor for roughing in retaliation. Unsatisfied with the calls, the Kodiak bench drew a bench minor. Camrose killed off the two-minute 4-on-3 power play that ensued for Brooks, while the Bandits then killed off the three-minute major power play.
In the second, Jake Lee (Owen Sound, ON) ripped home a wrister from the slot on a setup from the corner by Brayden Krieger (Elora, ON) to double the Bandit lead at 15:08. It came just after Bandit forward Justin Ross (Calgary, AB) left the game after behind sent headfirst into the end boards on a hit.
But Camrose pressed hard in the third, outshooting the Bandits 12-10 and erasing the lead in less than a minute. The Bandits played short a defenceman after Jordan Di Cicco (London, ON) was shouldered in the head on an open ice hit early in the period. But the first penalty of the period went to Brooks on a slashing call, leading to a Lane Brockhoff slapshot goal just six seconds into the man advantage. Not long after, Boers batted in a backdoor feed at the left side of the Brooks net to tie the game.
But the Bandits took the lead back with just 2:18 left in regulation. A Corson Ceulemans (Beaumont, AB) shot went off a Camrose stick and wide right of the Kodiak net, but bounced out the other side where McIsaac backhanded it home on the short side for the dramatic game-winner. Krieger added the empty netter with 7 seconds left to notch the 4-2 final score.
Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) made 20 saves on 22 shots for his sixth consecutive win to start the year, while Camrose’s Griffin Bowerman made 29 saves on 32 shots.
The Bandits next travel to Olds to take on the Grizzlys on Saturday night at 7 PM to go for an 8-0 season start. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 PM on Real Country 105.7.
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