SPRUCE GROVE, AB (May 3, 2022) – For the second straight game, Ryan McAllister played overtime hero, and for the second straight game, the Brooks Bandits defeated the Spruce Grove Saints 4-3 in extra time, Tuesday at Gran Fuhr Arena.
McAllister (Western Michigan) scored 3:41 into overtime, finishing off a behind-the-net pass from TJ Hughes (Michigan) to give Brooks a 2-1 lead in the Best-of-Seven AJHL Final series. Game 4 goes Wednesday, May 4 in Spruce Grove at 7:00 pm. Listen on Real Country 105.7 FM and Hockeytv.
For the first time in this series, Brooks got on the board first. Forward Hunter Wallace (RPI) hit Saints defenceman Brophy Dunne behind the Spruce Grove net, freeing up the puck to pass to an open Aiden Fink (Wisconsin) in front of the net, who blasted in a the game’s first goal to make it 1-0 at 2:36. The Bandits doubled their lead to 2-0 at 5:50 as forward Devin Phillips (Holy Cross) scored off the rush, sniping a top right corner shot. But Spruce Grove got both goals back, as Caiden Gault scored from the right circle at 12:16, followed by a Nikola Jovanovic one-timed a shot from the slot at 12:33 to tie the game 2-2. Phillips left the game at 14:23 after taking a blow to the head from Jacob Rochford. Shots in the first were 10-5 Brooks.
The Bandits retook the lead at 12:32 of the 2nd period, as forward Dario Beljo (AIC) scored from the left circle on a rebound from a Brendan Mairs shot to make it 3-2. But the Saints tied it up 3-3 at 14:20, as Liam Watkins banked in a shot from the goal line. Shots in the 2nd were 16-8 Saints.
The 3rd period was scoreless, shots were 11-3 Bandits.
McAllister ended the game 3:41 into overtime, snapping in his 10th of the playoffs to give Brooks the 4-3 win.
Game 5 of the AJHL Final goes Saturday, May 7 in Brooks. Tickets are on sale at brooksbandits.ca.
Photo: Aaron Grimaldo