BROOKS, AB – Pierce Charleson (Aurora, ON) posted the first home opener shutout in the history of the Centennial Regional Arena, and the first home opener shutout for the Brooks Bandits (2-1) in twelve years, as the Bandits held the visiting Drumheller Dragons (2-2) off the scoresheet in a 4-0 win in front of a crowd of 1,539 on Friday night.
Charleson became the first Bandit goalie to stop every shot he faced in a home opener since Kody Vanrentergem made 28 saves in a 5-0 win over Drumheller on September 15, 2006 at the old Centennial Arena.
The win was a measure of revenge for the Bandits who had lost 11-3 in Drumheller’s home opener a week prior. The Dragons came out strong again, at one point outshooting the Bandits 9-2 in the opening period, and requiring several quick saves from Charleson, including a stop on a Hassan Akl breakaway on the game’s opening shift, and a scramble to get back in position and stop a Brett Edwards shot from the slot a few shifts later.
But after a scoreless opening 20, and an early second period fight in which Ryan Mahshie quickly took down Derrick Budz of the Dragons, Simon Boyko (Mississauga, ON) sniped a short side shot from the left circle off the rush for the eventual game-winning goal. Later in the period, a scramble in front of the Drumheller net resulted in the puck sliding over the Dragon goal line, but the goal was waved off.
Brooks added three more in the third period, outshooting the Dragons 25-13 over the final 40 minutes and 32-22 overall in the game. 5:26 into the final frame, Mack Hancock (Kingston, ON) one-timed a puck from the right side of the net past Drumheller goalie Hunter Virostek to double the Brooks lead, before William Lemay (Marieville, QC) patiently carried into the Dragon zone and wired a bar-down wrister from the slot to make it 3-0. Less than a minute later, Bobby Harrison (Waterdown, ON) scored from the goal line on a sharp angle wrister that he banked off Virostek and in to notch the 4-0 final score.
The Bandits remain home for a Saturday night matchup with the Camrose Kodiaks, before which Brooks will induct forward Anthony Petruzzelli into the Smith Group Bandits Wall of Fame. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM with tickets available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.
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