Photo: Cherie Morgan
PENTICTON, B.C. (April 30, 2017) – Ty Mappin (Big Valley, AB) and Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) scored in the final three minutes to force overtime, and Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) had the shootout winner, as the Brooks Bandits (2-0) came back from a 3-1 third period deficit to down the Western Canada Cup host Penticton Vees by a 4-3 shootout score on Sunday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The win puts the Bandits in first place in the WCC standings, with two points for the shootout win giving the team a total of five.
A scoreless first period saw Penticton control shots on goal with an 11-7 margin, including a wide open Jared Nash rebound chance that Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) stopped with a sprawling right pad save. The host team clamped down with control midway through the second period, converting twice on first a power play backdoor tap-in by captain Nic Jones, then less than two minutes later on a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle by Chris Klack to make it 2-0 Vees.
But Brooks got on the board late in the second, as Parker Foo (Edmonton, AB) snuck a low shot from the left side of the Penticton net through goalie Mat Robson to make it a 2-1 game after two periods, with Penticton holding the 23-17 shot edge.
Though Brooks outshot Penticton 14-9 in the third, the Vees got the period’s earliest goal when a James Miller point shot was tipped in by Owen Sillinger to give Penticton the 3-1 cushion.
But a puck thrown towards the net by Kord Pankewicz (Drayton Valley, AB) led to a desperation tip by Mappin that deflected the puck past Robson to pull the Bandits within 1. Then, with time ticking away and an empty Brooks net, a feed by Oliver Chau (Oakville, ON) from the right corner came across to Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB), who fired it into the open Vees net to knot the game at 3-3 with only 31 seconds left.
Neither team converted in overtime, and after an early McKechney shootout goal was evened up by Nic Jones converting in the third round, a sensational glove save by Benson in the fourth round on Cassidy Bowes set up Cesana’s deciding try, a forehand-to-backhand move and flip over top of Robson to give Brooks the dramatic victory.
The team’s next action will be Tuesday afternoon against the Sasaktchewan Junior Hockey League champion Battlefords North Stars, with pre-game coverage starting at 2:30 PM Mountain time on Real Country 105.7.
Story by Tyler King