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Bandits offence explodes in dominant Game 5 win of Alberta Semifinal

BROOKS, AB (April 26, 2024) – The Brooks Bandits are one win away from advancing in the Rogers BCHL Playoffs following a dominant 8-2 win over the Okotoks Oilers in Game 5 of the Alberta Semifinal.

Logan Sawyer had a hat trick, while Nic DeGraves and Mirko Buttazzoni had three-point games on Friday at the Centennial Regional Arena. Goaltender Johnny Hicks (Kamloops, BC) made 23 saves for his third win of the playoffs.

For the first time in this series, the winning team gave up the first goal. Oilers forward Jackson Rowland scored off the rush just 40 seconds into the game. But the Bandits tied the game 1-1 quickly, as DeGraves (Edmonton, AB) tapped in a back-door pass from forward Nathan Free (Calgary, AB) at 1:42. Brooks took a 2-1 lead at 10:04, as defenceman Ethan Beyer (Centennial, CO) fired in a behind-the-net pass from DeGraves.

Sawyer (Orangeville, ON) scored 3:08 into the 2nd period, stuffing in a shortside goal after defenceman Luke Marshall (Saskatoon, SK) won a puck battle in the corner of the offensive zone. Forward Parker Lalonde (Aberdeen, SK) made it 4-1 at 6:02 on the powerplay, tapping in a Caelan Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) pass from the side of the net. The Bandits blew it open to 5-1 at 10:52 as Buttazzoni (Langley, BC) finished off a saucer pass from Nick Peluso (Rochester, NY). Sawyer’s second goal came at 19:06, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play from Davide Patella (Laval, QC) and Jordan Hughesman (Winnipeg, MB) making it 6-1. The Bandits outshot the Oilers 17-5 in the 2nd.

Forward Danylo Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) extended the lead to 7-1 at 7:52 of the 3rd period, backhanding a pass from Josh Wiebe (Calgary, AB) off the rush. Okotoks defenceman Sam Hall got one back at 16:17 on the powerplay on a seeing-eye shot, but Sawyer would complete the hat trick at 16:28 to make it 8-2. Final shots were 41-25 Brooks..

The winner of this series will face the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the Alberta Division Final.

Game 6 is Sunday, April 28th in Okotoks at 7:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on New Country 105.7 FM and FloHockey.