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(4) Okotoks Oilers @ (1) Brooks Bandits
Three years ago the Bandits and Oilers met in an epic South Division Final that went seven games before Brooks was able to defeat Okotoks. Two years ago the two teams met in the second round with the Bandits sweeping the Oilers to advance to the South Finals.
For one of these teams, their perfect playoff record will come to a close on Friday night. Brooks (got a bye in round 1) swept their second round series against Olds while Okotoks swept Camrose in round one and the Canucks in Round Two.
It was an interesting regular season series between the two teams as Okotoks took the first two games by 2-1 scores (second game in OT). From there it was all Brooks, as they would win the next four games with one of those going to overtime. Goaltending was the story of the regular season. Brooks goaltenders Alex Horawski went 1-1 with a 2.01 GAA and 0.902 save percentage while teammate Mitchel Benson was 3-0 with a 0.99 GAA and 0.958 save percentage and one shutout. In the other crease, Riley Morris started all six games against the Bandits posting a 2-3-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and 0.948 save percentage.
With that kind of goaltending numbers its no wonder that offense was for the most part difficult to come by. Cale Makar (2g, 5a) and Tyrell Mappin (7a) each had seven points against Okotoks. Parker Foo was third on the team with three goals and six points. For the Oilers, Carson Beers led the team with five points (1g, 4a) in six games against the Bandits. Tanner Laderoute had two goals and a helper for three points. Jordan Davies, Braden Nesbitt and Carter Huber each had two points.
The Oilers can win the series if they can keep the high powered Brooks offense in check and control the puck. The Bandits can win the series if they continue to play as they have all season long.
Story by Chris Colwell @Cjcolwell