The Bandits, members of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, won both of their matches at the five-team national Junior A championships, being staged in Cobourg, Ont.
Brooks kicked off the tournament with a 6-3 triumph over the Quebec Junior Hockey League’s Terrebonne Cobras on Saturday. The Bandits then eked out a 2-1 overtime win versus the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League on Sunday.
With their two victories, the Bandits are leading the tournament with five points. They earned three points for their regulation time victory against the Cobras and two more points for their OT decision versus Penticton.
The Cobras are next in line with three points. Terrebonne rebounded from their Saturday setback against Brooks to edge the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Trenton Golden Hawks 3-2 on Sunday.
Bandits’ 21-year-old forward Ty Mappin was the hero in his club’s win against the Vees, scoring at the 3:17 mark of OT.
Brooks also competed at the 2016 RBC Cup tourney, which was hosted by the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. The Bandits lost their tournament opener a year ago and were eventually eliminated following a semifinal loss.
Mappin is pleased his squad is off to a better start this time around.
“Last year we didn’t get that first win under our belt,” he said. “So it’s nice getting the first two out of the way and make sure we’re quite a bit ahead of everyone now. That’s always nice going into an off day.”
The Bandits’ next game is Tuesday against Trenton.
Realizing there’s still plenty of hockey left to be played at the tournament, Mappin said the Bandits’ opening-weekend wins do not necessarily make his club the tournament favourites.
“I wouldn’t say that,” said Mappin, who led the Bandits in scoring this season, racking up 90 points, including a league-high 68 assists, in 56 games. “It just puts us in a good position.”
The Bandits can expect to face a fired-up Golden Hawks’ squad on Tuesday. Like Brooks, Trenton is making its second consecutive appearance at the RBC Cup.
And like the Bandits, the Golden Hawks were also eliminated a year ago following a semifinal loss.
Trenton is not off to an ideal start this time around, losing both of its weekend matches.
On Sunday the Golden Hawks carried a 2-0 lead into the final period in its game against Terrebonne. But the Cobras rallied with three unanswered goals to eke out a 3-2 win.
And in its tournament opener a day earlier, Trenton was edged 3-2 in OT by its OJHL rivals, the host Cobourg Cougars.
As for Monday’s action, just one game is scheduled. And it will feature
the two clubs that have played just once thus far in the tournament.
Cobourg will square off against Penticton in the match, which has a 7:30 p.m. opening faceoff.
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