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Bandits fall to Sugar Kings in final home game of regular season

Brantford BanditsBandits fall to Sugar Kings in final home game of regular season

Brantford Bandits suffered an 8-3 loss to the Elmira Sugar Kings in their final regular season game on home ice on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

Elmira jumped out to a quick start, spending the opening 30 seconds of the game on the attack in the Bandits zone. The Sugar Kings strong forecheck and puck pressure led to a powerplay just 1:09 into the game. Elmira moved the puck well through the offensive zone, capitalizing on the man advantage just over a minute in to take a 1-0 lead.

Elmira continued to pressure the Bandits in their own zone and, 25 seconds later, increased their lead to 2-0 just three minutes into the game. The Sugar Kings continued to use their speed and a strong puck pressure game to spend the opening five minutes in the Bandits zone but the Bandits found their legs through the middle stages of the opening frame to get some scoring chances but couldn’t get on the scoreboard.

Bandits D Darcy Dewachter takes Sugar Kings F Dustin Good hard into the end boards late in the first period.

With just over seven minutes remaining in the opening period, the Sugar Kings opened up a 3-0 lead after capitalizing on a three-on-one chance. Brantford spent some time in Elmira’s zone down the stretch but the period was all Sugar Kings as they added one more with ten seconds remaining to open up a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Bandits came out stronger to start the second stanza, skating better and applying more pressure to the Sugar Kings defenders but couldn’t get much sustained time in the offensive zone. Three minutes in, the Bandits were forced to kill off a penalty after forward Preston Jones was sent off for slashing. Brantford killed it off then went on the attack, leading to their second powerplay of the game. Bandits F Juan Agromayor took a nice cross-ice pass from teammate Tyron Fevry and buried it past Sugar Kings goalie Owen Edwards to get his team on the board after the powerplay marker.

Bandits F Tyron Fevry splits two Sugar Kings defenders and gets a shot on goal during second period action.

The Bandits didn’t let up, increasing the pressure, and less than a minute later scored their second of the period after capitalizing on an odd-man rush to get back in the game, 4-2.

The Bandits continued to play well through the middle stages of the period then the Sugar Kings responded, spending two full minutes in the Brantford zone from the seven-minute mark to the five-minute mark. Elmira continued their attack and, once again, scored late in a period to take a 5-2 lead into the second intermission.

Bandits F Tyron Fevry stops up after gaining the offensive zone during second period action against the Elmira Sugar Kings on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

Both teams came out slower to start the final frame, battling in the neutral zone for the first two minutes. The Bandits then had to kill off a penalty before getting their third powerplay but couldn’t get much offence going. The Bandits and Sugar Kings battled in the neutral zone for most of the opening ten minutes before the teams traded goals to make it a 6-3 game.

The Sugar Kings dominated down the stretch, scoring two more goals in 47 seconds, on their way to the 8-3 victory. With the loss, the Bandits finished the regular season with a record of 11-37-2.

The Bandits will now start their journey for the Sutherland Cup as they take on the second-seeded Stratford Warriors in the best-of-seven, first round matchup. Game one will be in Stratford on Friday, March 8 while game two will be in Brantford on Saturday, March 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Bandits F Juan Agromayor fires a shot past Sugar Kings G Owen Edwards for a powerplay marker in the second period.

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