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Free scores twice, Hicks makes 35 saves as Bandits take down Crusaders 5-1 in Game 2 of Alberta Final

SHERWOOD PARK, AB (May 11, 2024) – A three-goal 1st period was more than enough for the Brooks Bandits, who took a 2 games to 0 lead in the BCHL Alberta Final following a 5-1 win in Game 2 at the Randy Rosen Rink on Saturday.

Nathan Free (Calgary, AB) scored twice, Johnny Hicks (Kamloops, BC) made 35 saves and the Bandits penalty kill went 6/6 for the second straight game.

Just 34 seconds into the game, forward Caelan Fitzpatrick (Moose Jaw, SK) opened the scoring, scoring from the net-front. The Crusaders had a chance to tie, but following a shot that hit the post, Bandits forward Davide Patella (Laval, QC) went the other way and scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0. Later in the frame, Free also scored on a breakaway following a Crusaders turnover, making it 3-0 at 16:45.

Sherwood Park got their only goal 1:28 into the 2nd, as forward Adam Raesler one-timed a shot from the right wing, cutting the lead to 3-1. Sherwood Park got into penalty trouble, but it remained a two-goal game until the 3rd period.

Free’s second goal came 5:44 into the 3rd, scoring from the slot from an Ethan Beyer (Centennial, CO) pass. Forward Danylo Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) ended the game with a backhand goal at 14:03 to make it 5-1. Final shots were 36-31 Brooks.

Game 3 of the Alberta Final is Friday, May 17th at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, with Game 4 scheduled for Saturday, May 18th.