Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bandits Best Birds 4-2

The Surrey Eagles fell to the Brooks Bandits in the opening game of the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup by a score of 4-2 at Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo. Bandits goalie Michael Fredrick made 40 saves in the victory for the Alberta champions.

The Birds had a lot of jump at the start of the game and generated a couple of early chances in the first, but it was Brooks who opened the scoring in the late stages of the frame when the puck came to Brandon Bruce after a goal mouth scramble, and he found the back of the net to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Surrey got into some penalty trouble in the second, and Brooks made the Eagles pay on the power play. With Colton Mackie in the box for slashing, Mark Reners buried a rebound past Surrey goalie Michael Santaguida to extend the lead. Then a few minutes later, Demico Hannoun could only watch from the sin bin as RJ Reed rippled the mesh with a slap shot from the point that tipped off a Surrey stick and into the net.

Brady Shaw got the Birds on the board with a power play goal early in the third as he chipped the rebound of an Adam Tambellini shot past Fredrick, but Brooks regained the three goal lead when Cam Maclise was awarded a penalty shot after Devon Toews hooked him on a shorthanded breakaway, and Maclise made no mistake, firing a hard shot between Santaguida's legs. Drew Best pulled Surrey to within two goals in the final minute, but it was too little, too late as the Birds dropped the opening game of the tournament.

Despite the loss, Surrey out shot Brooks 42-32 in the game. The Bandits were better on special teams though, as Brooks went 2-for-3 on the power play while the Eagles were only 1-for-7.

Surrey gets back at it on Monday night with a match up against the Manitoba champion Steinbach Pistons. Face-off at 7:00pm.

Brooks Player of the Game: Michael Fredrick

Surrey Player of the Game: Brady Shaw

My 3 Stars:
1. Michael Fredrick - Brooks
2. Brady Shaw - Surrey
3. Chris Muscoby - Brooks

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