Photo and Article credit: Alessia Proietti, rdnewsNOW
The Blackfalds Bulldogs served the Brooks Bandits their first 3-2 loss at the Eagle Builders Centre on Friday after a 13-game win streak.
The Bandits were leading in the BCHL after three games and were the leading team in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) prior to the league switch.
The Bulldogs also came into the game with three of their newly signed players, defencemen Easton Adrian and James Johnson, and forward Ryan Neumann.
Nearing the halfway mark of the first period, the Bulldogs’ Carter Patterson scored on Bandits goaltender Johnny Hicks from the high slot. Assisted by Hunter Brown and Alexander Dimitriadis, the home team opened the scoreboard 1-0.
Brooks was outshooting Blackfalds 15-10 after 20 minutes of play.
In the middle frame, with the Bandits’ Quinn McCall on penalty for holding, the Bulldogs’ Dakota MacIntosh scored his second goal this BCHL season, once again from the high slot mid-period. Brendan Ross and Jayden Joly got the helpers for the power play goal, doubling their lead 2-0.
The Bandits slightly outshot the Bulldogs in the second period 11-10.
Brooks almost turned the game around in the final period. The Blackfalds’ Brendan Gillmore first scored a goal from right in front of the crease just two minutes in. With Ross and Joly claiming the assists for a second consecutive time, the Bulldogs now led 3-0.
However, almost two minutes later the Bandits’ Logan Sawyer scored on Bulldogs netminder Wilson Maxfield. The visitors were now on the scoreboard 3-1 behind the home team.
At 12:45, Brooks scored again with Nathan Free putting their team behind Blackfalds 3-2.
With the Bandits’ goaltender Hicks taken off the ice for the last two minutes of regulation, it was not enough to tie the game.
Brooks greatly outshot Blackfalds 13-4 in the third period.
Shots on goal
1st: Wilson Maxfield (BFB) – SV37
2nd: Carter Patterson (BFB) – 1G
3rd: Nathan Free (BRK) 1G, 1A
Bulldogs Head Coach Doug Quinn said he was very happy with the game, especially after their 4-1 loss on Wednesday against the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
“Brooks is arguably the top team in the country. Us coming off our last game, we just didn’t play very well. I thought today we came out and played with a lot of energy, I felt I saw some really good things on our forecheck, and our penalty kills did a great job,” he said.
Giving a particular shoutout to goaltender Maxfield, he also said their defence, including new teammates Adrian and Johnson, played well.
“We’re certainly trying to upgrade our defence and they [Adrian and Johnson] give us some size and strength and they’re good puck handlers, good defenders and they were a big partner of our win today,” he said.
Quinn says the team has a core group and strong leadership for the remainder of the season, with no further changes moving forward.
The win for the Bulldogs brings them up to second place with a record of 2-2-0-0, behind the Bandits in first place with 3-1-0-0.
The Bulldogs will rematch the Bandits on Friday at the Eagle Builders Centre. Face off is at 7 p.m. with the broadcast live on Mixlr.