FORT McMURRAY, AB (November 15, 2019) – Randy Hernandez (Miami, FL) scored the game winner early in the third period, and the Brooks Bandits (24-1) defeated the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 3-2 in a feisty affair at the Casman Centre on Friday night.
The Bandits outshot Fort McMurray 35-25 in the game, with goalie Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) making 23 stops to move his record to 20-1.
Chris Pappas (Toronto, ON) opened the scoring 7:20 into the game when his sharp angle attempt from the right side of the Fort McMurray net deflected by goalie Evan Fradette.
But Fort McMurray tied the game at 5:52 on a long point shot through a screen by Riley Bodnarchuk. Brooks reclaimed the one-goal advantage at 9:17, though, when Brayden Krieger (Elora, ON) fed a pass through the slot to Tim Rego (Mansfield, MA) at the right side of the net, who sniped one home to make it 2-1 Brooks.
The Bandits extended the lead 5:19 into the third when rookie Justin Ross (Calgary, AB) fed a puck from the end wall to Hernandez in the slot, who fired a quick shot by Fradette to give Brooks the 3-1 lead.
Things deteriorated near the end of the game, when Brooks captain Jake Lee (Owen Sound, ON) was slashed in the leg from behind by Fort McMurray forward Kyle Pow, and challenged to a fight. Lee didn’t drop his gloves, and avoided the attack as best he could, but was nonetheless assessed a fighting penalty. But Pow’s triple-minor assessment for slashing, instigator, and aggressor gave Brooks a power play for the rest of regulation.
Hunter Leslie scored on a shorthanded breakaway for Fort McMurray at the 18:32 mark, but it was as close as the Oil Barons would get, as the Bandits held on for the 3-2 victory.
Brooks will cap off its north road trip on Saturday night, taking on the Bonnyville Pontiacs at 7 PM. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 PM on Real Country 105.7.
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