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Buttazzoni overtime goal lifts Bandits to thrilling 4-3 victory in Game 4

BROOKS, AB (May 18, 2024) – Mirko Buttazzoni scored 17:47 into overtime as the Brooks Bandits survived a thrilling Game 4 of the BCHL Alberta Cup Final, defeating the Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-3 on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

Nic DeGraves, Danylo Korzkyletskyi, Hunter Wallace and Buttazzoni scored the Bandits goals, while goaltender Johnny Hicks (Kamloops, BC) made 33 saves in net. The Bandits lead the best-of-seven series 3 games to 1, with a chance to win the Alberta Cup Championship on home ice on Wednesday, May 22nd.

DeGraves (Edmonton, AB) opened the scoring 13:44 into the game, after the Crusaders turned the puck over at their blueline to Nathan Free (Calgary, AB), who passed cross-ice to DeGraves for the one-timer for the period’s only goal.

The Bandits doubled the lead to 2-0 just 53 seconds into the 2nd, as Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) scored from the netfront, sweeping a puck underneath Crusaders starter Erick Roest on the powerplay. Wallace (Oak Lake, MB) made it 3-0 at 10:29, cleaning up a loose puck off a drive to the net from defenceman Luke Marshall (Saskatoon, SK). The Crusaders got on the board quickly after at 11:20, as forward Kale Dach tucked a puck shortside into the Bandits net to cut the lead to 3-1.

Sherwood Park scored their first powerplay goal of the series at 2:48 in the 3rd, as Nick Wellenreiter cleaned up a scramble play to cut the lead to 3-2. Then at 9:54, forward Noah Wills scored from the right circle off the rush to tie the game 3-3.

Late in the 1st overtime period, forward Nick Peluso (Rochester, NY) gained the Crusaders zone, carried behind the net and dropped a shortside pass in front for Buttazzoni, who banged in the game winner. It was his fourth overtime goal of the season.

Final shots were 41-36 Brooks.

Game 5 is Wednesday, May 22nd at the CRA in Brooks. Game time is 7:00 pm.