The Brooks Bandits will open their 2019 Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs against the Canmore Eagles beginning Friday night, it was announced March 14.
Canmore qualified for the South Division Semi-final after a 2-1 win in a decisive first round Game 5 over the Drumheller Dragons tonight. As the sixth-seeded team, the Eagles will match up with the first-seeded Bandits, who earned a first round bye for finishing first in the division.
The series begins Friday and Saturday with games at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, then shifts to Canmore for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday at the Canmore Recreation Centre.
If necessary, a fifth game would be next Friday in Brooks, a sixth on Sunday, March 24 in Canmore, and a decisive Game 7 on Tuesday, March 26 back in Brooks.
It will be the fifth time the Bandits and Eagles have met in the playoffs, and the second straight season after Brooks swept the Eagles in the first round in 2018. The Bandits also swept Canmore four games to none in the South Semi-final in 2016 and three games to none in the 2011 first round. The Bandits needed six games to defeat the Eagles in the second round the first time they met in the playoffs in 2006.
Brooks holds an all time 14-2 record against Canmore in the playoffs, and went a perfect 6-0 against the Eagles in the regular season this year. However, no team in the AJHL scored more goals against Brooks than did Canmore this season, as the Eagles tallied 17 times against the Bandits in the six games, with 13 of them coming in the final three games of the regular season series. The Bandits outscored Canmore 35-17 in the six wins.
Tickets for the first two games of the series are on sale right now at tickets.brooksbandits.ca, with radio coverage of the entire series available on Real Country 105.7.