Photos: Erica Perreaux / Hockey Canada Images
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – A highly-touted Brooks Bandits (AJHL) side were well deserving in their 9-0 victory over the Timmins Rock Monday in a Day 5 match-up at the Centennial Cup Monday at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
With the result, the two-time defending national Jr. A champions move to 3-0-0 at the 10-team event, while Timmins falls to 1-2-0.
Brooks began the day’s scoring 12:15 into the contest when Danylo Korzhyletskyi spun along the side boards and fired a feed in front that was neatly redirected in by Jordan Hughesman past Timmins netminder Jacob Brown.
Adding another a few minutes later, the Bandits’ Aiden Celebrini, put a shot towards the target from the point and saw it clip off a Rock defender and bounce in.
Continuing to press, the Alberta Junior Hockey League title holders forced a turnover deep in Timmins territory, which allowed Caelan Fitzpatrick to dart around the net and bank in a wrap-around.
Taking their three-goal cushion into the second stanza, it was more Brooks four minutes in off a transition effort and saw Korzhyletskyi bury one blocker side with a sharp snap shot from the left dot.
Adding one more just before the intermission, Brendan Poshak took an Aiden Fink drop pass and whipped it in from between the circles.
In the final frame, the Bandits capped off the win when Hunter Wallace tapped one in from the top of the crease in the back half of the session, with help from Hudson Malinoski and Sam Court, who are both on the final 2023 NHL Central Scouting draft rankings.
A late power play tally added to the one-sided result as Fink finished off a shot into the open side from the left of Brown.
Coming hard right to the end, the Bandits tacked on two more in the final minute with Mikhail Simchuck and Davide Patella both converting to round out the scoring.
Shots on goal finished up 45-13 with Ethan Barwick posting the shutout.
Collecting the respective player of the game awards were Poshak and Timmins’ Nicolas Pigeon.
The Rock now has a day off to prepare for their final round robin game, which goes Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 p.m., against the Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL), in what will be a must-win game for the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League title holders.