The Brooks Bandits advanced to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South Division Final for the eighth consecutive year on Friday night, defeating the visiting Canmore Eagles 4-0 to win their best of seven series 4 games to 1.
Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) scored the game-winning goal in the first period, while William Lemay (Marieville, QC) scored twice in the third period, and Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) made 11 saves for his first career playoff shutout.
Bast’s second of the playoffs came at the 7:38 mark of the game on a long wrist shot from the right circle. Despite then outshooting Canmore 13-1 in the second period, the game remained just a 1-0 Brooks lead.
But the Bandits doubled the lead just 1:57 into the third when Nick Hale (Raleigh, NC) fed Lemay on a 2-on-1 rush for a top shelf one-timer to make it 2-0. Lemay got his second of the game at 11:05 on a net front one-timer set up by Tyler Campbell (Winnipeg, MB) from the end wall. Nathan Plessis (Salmon Arm, B.C.) tapped in a backdoor power play goal at 14:21 to cap off the scoring.
Brooks outshot Canmore 47-11 in the game, with star Eagles goalie Thomas Davis making 43 saves and receiving a post-game standing ovation from the crowd of 1,543.
The Bandits will begin their league semifinal rematch with Okotoks on Friday, March 29th at 7 PM at the Centennial Regional Arena. Tickets are on sale at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.