The Brooks Bandits must win on Sunday night to keep their season going, after falling 4-3 to the Okotoks Oilers on Friday night at the Pason Centennial Arena in Game 5 of the AJHL South Division Final.
Three early goals for the Oilers appeared to bet the difference, as Austin Wong, Marc Pasemko, and Nick Blankenburg struck for the home side before the game was 12 minutes old.
But the Bandits struck back when P.A. Martineau (Sherbrooke, PQ) fired a wrist shot home from the right circle at the 13:14 mark of the first. A scoreless second gave way to another comeback bid by Brooks in the third, with Will Garin (Mound, MN) tipping home a Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) point shot 45 seconds in to make it a one-goal game.
Okotoks reclaimed a 2-goal lead with a Carter Huber power play goal from the slot at 7:11, but Mack Hancock (Kingston, ON) scored with 57 seconds left off a net front scramble to make it 4-3. The tying goal eluded the Bandits, however, and Okotoks held on to take a 3 games to 2 lead in the series.
The vital Game 6 is scheduled for 7 PM in Brooks at the Centennial Regional Arena, with tickets available right now at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
In tribute to the people killed Friday night in the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash, the team will hold a moment of silence prior to the game, and will also have areas set up to collect donations for the families of those affected by the tragedy.