In a second consecutive disappointing season for the Calgary Mustangs, there are very few bright spots but one of those bright spots shown through again Saturday night in Brooks.
Mustangs Goaltender Bailey Brkin was once again the star in a tough 2-1 loss to the Bandits. The Mustangs got a couple of earlier chances on the power play but were unable to beat Alex Horawski. As Brooks kept up the pressure, and they would get rewarded as Austin Cameron took a slashing penalty. On the power play, Arnuad Vochon (assists to Oliver Chau and Tyrell Mappin @13:20) took a pass out of the left corner and fired a one-timer five hole on the Mustangs (starting) goaltender Bailey Brkin. The Bandits continued to apply pressure, but Brkin was turning everything away, including some ten bell saves. Late in the opening frame, the Bandits would get several close in opportunities that Brkin would stop before Ocean Wiesblatt (assists to Nicolas Valhos and Dennis Cesana @19:03) wristed a shot over the shoulder of the Mustangs goaltender. Shots favored Brooks 19-4 in the opening period.
The shooting gallery continued for Brooks in the second, but Brkin was up to the task and turned every shot away giving his team an opportunity to mount a comeback. The Mustangs would get on the board midway through the second period. After a faceoff win by Calgary Tyler Lentz fired a shot that Yuri Chernichko (assists to Tyler Lentz and Mathew Popowich @10:33) would tip the shot between the pads of Bandits (starting) goaltender Alex Horawski to cut the deficit in half. Brooks would push to get the two goal lead back as they peppered Brkin with 28 shots in the second but the score would be 2-1 Bandits after two. Shots were 47-11 Brooks after two periods (28-7 in the second).
The third period was much of the same from the first two periods with lots of ten bell chances for the Bandits to add to their slim one goal lead but the Mustangs game star Bailey Brkin would keep his team in the game stopping all 26 shots in the third. Unfortunately for the Mustangs offense was difficult to come by as they were only able to muster three shots in the third and would fall 2-1. Shots favored Brooks 26-3 in the third and 73-14 in the hockey game.
Mustangs goaltender Bailey Brkin made a team record 71 saves which were just three saves shy of an AJHL record for most saves in a single game. The Mustangs will close out the long weekend on Monday in Drayton Valley.
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