On Friday night, the Calgary Canucks soundly beat the second ranked team in the country as they put a 5-2 win on the board versus the Brooks Bandits.
Coming into the game on a six game losing streak, the Canucks put together a solid effort in front of a loud and happy crowd. “All of the coaches had fun coaching a game like that,” said Head Coach and General Manager Ryan Barrett after the game. “It was a great team effort. We were physical and it paid off. We had good goaltending. We played well and we won.”
Both teams came out hitting and the Canucks didn’t shy away from the action.
Derek Thorogood pushed towards the net putting the home team on the board first with an assist from Deryk Sutherland. In the second, 16 year-old phenom Andrew McCann picked up his real first goal of the season. He had been credited with a goal earlier on, but this one was his first from Logan Franz and Trent Geiger.
The Bandits got into penalty trouble and the Canucks finally capitalized on their sixth powerplay as Gianni Mangone wired one in from the point, assisted by Colton Sheen and Derek Thorogood. After two, the Canucks had a 3-0 lead.
The last period brought more intensity from the Canucks who have had some troubles in the third and looked to seal the deal. Thorogood rushed in once more and had it slide in after a couple of deflections with his second of the night assisted by Mangone and Franz.
To cap their offensive night, Colton Sheen put one in this time from Thorogood. As time ticked down, the frustrated Bandits got on the board twice and got an extended five on three. The Canucks held tight and goaltender Colin Cooper made some key saves as the seconds ticked down. They ended the night with a 5-2 win.
The teams meet again tomorrow night in Brooks for what will surely be a great rematch, fresh off of the emotions of tonight’s game. The game was played before a loud and enthusiastic crowd at Max Bell Arena and the team surely reacted in a positive way. It was good for the players and the fans were treated to a very well played game. The game was sponsored by Debbie and Kelly Scruggs of Century 21 Bravo Realty. Activities during the evening included: Puck Toss, Tattos and Face Painting, Jelly Bean Jar Guessing Amount, Pizza for the Loudest Fans, Free cake and cupcakes. During the second intermission the South Centre Volkswagon frisbee toss took place with two lucky Canucks fans splitting the winnings,
The rematch on Saturday, in Brooks was another great contest.
The Canucks opened the scoring with a quick goal by Colton Sheen at 1:18 of the first period but the Bandits bounced back and tied the game at 4:05.
The Canucks went ahead late in the second period when Kent Walchuk scored his first game of the year on a breakway with just over a minute remaining in the period.
In the third period, two quick goals in the first three minutes by the Bandits gave them the first lead of the game and the eventual win.
Adin Hill took the loss for the Canucks as he faced 44 shots.
Despite the disappointing loss, the fact that the Canucks gave the defending RBC Champions, and the number two ranked team in the country, their second loss of the season has to give the team confidence as they continue on in the season.
The Canucks will return to Max Bell Arena Nov 4 when they will host the Canmore Eagles at 7:00 PM