Redemption for Bandits in 3-1 victory over Spruce Kings

By Mitch Bach
May 16, 2019 - 10:40pm Updated: May 17, 2019 - 7:29pm



BROOKS, AB — The most anticipated preliminary match of the 2019 National Junior ‘A’ Championship lived up to the hype for an over-capacity Centennial Regional Arena on Thursday night. Andrew Lucas notched the game-winning marker 7:11 into the third period, leading the Brooks Bandits to a 3-1 victory over the Prince George Spruce Saints to finish prelim play with a perfect 4-0 record. The Spruce Kings, who claimed the Doyle Cup over the Bandits in six games two weeks prior, suffered their first loss of the tournament to enter Saturday’s semi-final 3-1. In a redemption-fuelled victory, the Bandits claimed the top seed and will take on the Ottawa Jr. Senators on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. for a spot in Sunday’s championship match. Prince George’s semi-final is set for Saturday at 7:00 p.m. against the Oakville Blades, who defeated the Senators 7-4 on Thursday afternoon. Carter Wolski opened the scoring for the Bandits, jamming a lose puck at the side of Logan Neaton’s net with 1:23 remaining in the first period. Nick Poisson, who was named the Player of the Game for the Spruce Kings, scored the lone goal with just over a minute to go in the second period to tie it up 1-1. After Lucas regained the lead, Brandon Scanlin dashed any hope for a Prince George comeback, netting a short-handed empty-netter inside the final minute of play to solidify a 3-1 Bandits victory. Neaton stopped 28 of 30 shots in the loss, and Pierce Charleson, who was named the Bandits Player of the Game, allowed one goal on 22 shots. The Bandits are just the sixth host team since the start of the five-team format in 1990 to win all four of its prelim games.

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