PENTICTON, B.C. – It was nearly a clean sweep for the Brooks Bandits at the 2017 Western Canada Cup Awards Banquet on Friday night, as the 4-0 team and first seed after the round robin stage won all but 3 of the awards handed out.
The Bandits took 4 of the 6 spots on the All-Tournament team, and 4 of 5 individual awards, with goaltender Mitch Benson (Windsor, ON) leading the way with three awards.
The Bandit netminder was first honoured as the All-Tournament Team goaltender, then as the tournament’s Top Goaltender, then as the Most Valuable Player of the Western Canada Cup. Benson led all goalies at the tournament in wins, save percentage, and goals against average, becoming the first goalie in tournament history to go 4-0; he recorded a 1.51 goals against average and .938 save percentage.
Defenceman Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) was named one of two defencemen on the All-Tournament Team as well as the WCC Top Defenceman after leading all defencemen with 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in the 4 game round robin, placing second overall in scoring.
Placing first in scoring, and thus capturing the WCC Top Scorer Award, was forward Parker Foo, whose 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) also earned him one of three forward spots on the All-Tournament Team.
Also sharing All-Tournament honours was Foo’s linemate, forward Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB), who tied for second in tournament scoring with 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists), including the dramatic game-tying goal with 31 seconds left in the team’s 4-3 shootout win over the Penticton Vees on Sunday night.
The Bandits will take on the British Columbia Hockey League representative Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday night with their first Western Canada Cup championship in franchise history on the line, as well as a spot in the 2017 RBC Cup in Cobourg, Ontario. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 PM on Real Country 105.7.
By Tyler King