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Brooks Prevails at WCC Cup with Dominating Win in Final

By Neil Hilts on May 08, 2017

The Brooks Bandits’ trophy case got a new addition with the franchise’s first ever Western Canada Cup win this past weekend in Penticton. The Bandits are now off to Cobourg, Ont. for the RBC Cup and will be joined by BCHL foe, the Penticton Vees, as the other representative from the West. (Cherie Morgan Photography)

Five straight wins and only one game within a goal.

It was domination for the Brooks Bandits who rolled over opposition at the Western Canada Cup, including defeating the Chilliwack Chiefs 6-1 in the title game.

A second period hat trick from Connor Jean was the driving force for the Bandits in the win. Cale Makar, Josh McKechney and Parker Foo each had two points for the Bandits who had a number of quality scoring chances. Mitchel Benson, named the top goalie of the weekend, turned aside 29 of 30 shots, including 13 in the final period.

Oliver Chau broke the deadlock halfway through the first, and just a few minutes after, Justin Dixson of the Chilliwack Chiefs tied it up. However, the Bandits came out firing in the second, notching 18 shots to the Chiefs’ four while scoring four, including two on the power play. Down 5-1 in the third, Chilliwack brought a strong effort with 13 shots to Brooks’ seven, but Benson stood tall.

The Bandits finally claimed their first WCC after appearing in the championship three times in the past five years. They’ll be chasing the second RBC Cup after winning back in 2013.

The Penticton Vees, host of the Western Canada Cup, had an impressive streak where they won their last three games, including two in the sudden death games. In the third place versus fourth place game, the Vees beat the Battleford North Stars 4-0 behind a 23-save shutout from Mathew Robson. Nicholas Jones and Grant Cruikshank both had two points in the win

With the win, Penticton awaited the winner of Chilliwack and Brooks, and with the Chiefs’ loss, a BCHL Finals rematch with a trip to the RBC on the line was next up.

Led by Jones, the Vees had a huge second half of the game after Chilliwack led 1-0 after the first. Jones scored late in the second, early in the third before assisting on the eventual game winner scored by Cruikshank with 11 minutes remaining. The Chiefs’ Will Calverley started the comeback, finding twine with just over five minutes left, but the Vees' stifling defence shut down the Chiefs enroute to the 3-2 win.

Penticton drastically outplayed Chilliwack in the third, outshooting them 11-2 and scoring twice, including the winner. They’re now vying for their second RBC Cup in franchise history after winning in 2012.

Brooks and Penticton head to Cobourg, Ont., next weekend with play kicking off on May 13. The other teams competing are the Trenton Golden Hawks, Terrebone Cobras and host Cobourg Cougars.

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By Neil Hilts| May 08, 2017
Categories:  Junior
Keywords:  Western Canada Cup

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