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Brooks Bandits Remain Undefeated at 2017 RBC Cup

By Sam Laskaris on May 17, 2017

The Brooks Bandits recorded the biggest shutout in RBC Cup history to go three for three in the preliminary round and secure a semifinal spot alongside the Cobourg Cougars. (Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images)

The Brooks Bandits continue to lead the pack at the RBC Cup.

The Bandits, members of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, registered their third consecutive victory on Tuesday at the national Junior A championship, which is being staged in Cobourg, Ont.

Brooks thumped the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Trenton Golden Hawks 8-0 in their matinee contest.

Eight different players scored for the Bandits in their lopsided triumph. Brooks led 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes but took charge of the match by scoring four more goals in the second period.

Bandits goalie Mitch Benson, who will begin his NCAA career next season with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, stopped all 23 shots he faced to earn the shutout.

The Bandits are now leading the tournament standings with eight points. They picked up three points in each of their wins in regulation time and two points for their 2-1 overtime victory versus the British Columbia Hockey League’s Penticton Vees on Sunday.

Ryan Papaioannou, the Bandits’ head coach/GM, has been rather pleased he’s been getting a total team effort thus far in the five-squad national tournament, which continues until Sunday.

“We’re getting contributions from all four lines, we’re getting contributions from six D [and] our goaltending’s been great,” he said. “And at this stage of the year, to be able to win, you’re going to need it to be everybody being involved, and that’s kind of a key thing right now.”

The Bandits’ convincing victory over Trenton was the largest shutout in RBC Cup history. A team from New Westminster, B.C. had recorded a 9-0 shutout though back in 1990 when the national Junior A tourney was called the Centennial Cup.

Brooks has already guaranteed itself a spot in Saturday’s semifinals. But the Bandits are now hoping to conclude their round-robin action with another W on Thursday.

Brooks will battle the tournament’s host team, the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL, in its final round-robin match.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s other contest also turned into a one-sided affair. The Cougars downed the Quebec Junior Hockey League’s Terrebonne Cobras 6-1.

Cobourg scored twice in the first two minutes of the game and cruised to victory by adding three third-period goals.

With two wins in their first three round-robin outings, the Cougars have also guaranteed themselves a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.

“We’re just playing it game by game,” said Cobourg forward Spencer Roberts, who scored twice and added a pair of assists in his team’s win on Tuesday. “We’re not the most skilled team but we really get to the corners and work hard.”

Tournament action will continue on Wednesday. Just one game is on the schedule.

The Golden Hawks will square off against the Vees, in the match which has a 3:30 p.m. face off.

Trenton, which has just a single point via an overtime loss in its first three games, needs a victory to keep alive its hopes of advancing to the tournament semifinals.

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By Sam Laskaris| May 17, 2017
Categories:  Junior|Events
Keywords:  Brooks Bandits

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