Bandits bask in glory of being crowned national champions

By Scott Roblin
May 19, 2019 - 9:57pm Updated: May 21, 2019 - 7:29pm


BROOKS, AB – Nathan Plessis, Arnaud Vachon, and Jake Theis remember the dejection and heartbreak from two years ago, losing an overtime thriller in the RBC Cup final to the Cobourg Cougars.

On Sunday, that dejection was replaced with pure elation as the Brooks Bandits put one heck of a ribbon on their record-breaking 2018-19 season, winning the second National Junior 'A' Championship in franchise history.

Simon Boyko stepped up as hero in the final against the Prince George Spruce Kings, scoring a pair of goals in Brooks’ 4-3 win over the BCHL and Doyle Cup champions.

Ryan Papaioannou was behind the bench for the Bandits’ last national title, which came six years to day as Sunday’s championship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

Just prior to being soaked in a Gatorade bath by his players, Papaioannou said this year’s championship was even more special getting the chance to win it at Centennial Regional Arena in front of the Bandits faithful.

“I think that’s everything,” said Papaioannou. “Our fans... everyone is still here, everybody is going to be here for a long time. It’s probably going to be a wild night and for as much as they supported us, I think it means the same to them as it does to our players.”

Following the final buzzer, CHAT Sports spoke to Vachon, Boyko, Plessis, and Papaioannou about bringing home another national title to Brooks.


Kurtz rallies big to win 2019 Victoria Day Classic, Martin dominates ladies side