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Cyclones capitalize on special teams to defeat Bandits

Brantford BanditsCyclones capitalize on special teams to defeat Bandits

Listowel Cyclones capitalized on two early powerplays to defeat the Brantford Bandits 5-2 in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) action on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Alec Kaehler from the Kitchener Minor Hockey Association waits to drop the puck during the ceremonial faceoff before the Bandits battled the Cyclones on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

The Bandits came out quickly to start the opening frame, using an aggressive forecheck and strong skating to spend the first minute on the attack in the offensive zone but their effort was quickly negated when they were called for a too many men penalty, giving the Cyclones their first powerplay of the game just over a minute in. The Cyclones did a good job of cycling the puck then got it out front for a shot that was deflected past Bandits goalie Lennart Neisse just 22 seconds into the man advantage for the an early 1-0 lead.

Cyclones F Wylie Birkett tips the puck past Bandits G Lennart Neisse for a powerplay goal early in the first period.

Eighteen seconds after the opening goal, the Bandits went on the powerplay but couldn’t muster many scoring opportunities but were awarded a second chance with the man advantage two minutes later. The Bandits spent most of the second powerplay in the offensive zone but couldn’t get the equalizer.

The teams went back to five-on-five and the Bandits dominated most of the play while the Cyclones got a handful of chances off of the rush as the teams battled back and forth through the first eight minutes of the opening period. Listowel went back to the powerplay with just over 12 minutes left after Bandits forward Ezra Fischer was called for goalie interference. The Cyclones, once again, capitalized quickly, scoring their second goal just 21 seconds into the man advantage to open up a 2-0 lead. The Cyclones kept the pressure up and two a half minutes later got a lucky bounce when they puck deflected off a Bandits player to get past Neisse to take a 3-0 lead.

Bandits D Luke Blenkhorn ties up Cyclones F Mason Eurig along the boards during first period action.

Brantford then ran into penalty trouble in the back half of the first, getting called for consecutive minors, leading to a five-on-three powerplay for 34 seconds but the Bandits penalty killers stood strong. Brantford controlled most of the play at even strength in the period but were down 3-0 after 20 minutes.

During the first intermission, kids from Kitchener Minor Hockey took part in a mini game where they got to showcase their skills for the crowd. According to Jason Stangl, one of the owners of the Bandits, the team would like kids, U-10 and under, from Brantford Minor Hockey Association to come out and take part in the game-day festivities. Interested teams should contact Jason Stangl at Jason@banditsjrhc.ca.

U-7 players from Kitchener Minor Hockey take part in a mini game during the first intermission of the Bandits-Cyclones game on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Brantford, once again, had a strong start in the second, helped by a shortened powerplay. The Bandits got a handful of opportunities but couldn’t Beat Cyclones goalie Riley Arts. The Bandits continued to pressure in the offensive zone for the next two minutes but couldn’t get on the scoreboard. A minute later, Brantford was back on the penalty kill but killed it off to keep the game close.

Bandits F Juan Agromayor battles with Cyclones captain Carter Coombs while chasing after a loose puck in the second period.

Two minutes later, Brantford went back on the powerplay and then were given a second man advantage, leading to a five-on-three powerplay for 1:16 but couldn’t beat the Cyclones penalty killers. While the Bandits couldn’t get on the scoreboard, they controlled the play five-on-five to keep the Cyclones at bay.

Both teams traded chances down the stretch and with eight seconds left in the period, the Bandits finally got on the board after a nice solo effort by defenceman Will Bray to close the period down 3-1.

Bandits F Ezra Fischer knocks Cyclones F Ben MacRobbie off the puck to avoid a high quality scoring chance during third period action on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Brantford continued to have a strong start to a period, spending the opening minute of the final frame in the Cylcones zone but Listowel responded shortly thereafter only to have the Bandits calmly get out of trouble. The teams traded chances for the next six minutes but then the Bandits made things close when a point shot beat a screened goalie to get back within one, 3-2.

Bandits G Lennart Neisse closes the five-hole for a save late in the third period against the Listowel Cyclones.

Two minutes after getting back within one, the Cyclones capitalized with the man advantage, scoring their third powerplay marker of the game to regain their two-goal lead, 4-2 with 11 minutes left to go.

After a hectic pace to start the period, the teams settled down through the late stages, trading chances but battling in the neutral zone as time ran down. Listowel added an empty-netter with 29 seconds left as they skated to the 5-2 victory.

Players from Kitchener Minor Hockey gets autographs from Brantford Bandits players after the game on Saturday, January 27, 2024. Photo courtesy Jason Stangl.

The Brantford Bandits would like to invite all minor hockey players to Bandits games. Hockey players who wear their hockey association jersey to the game will receive free admission to any Bandits home game.

Tyler Stangl poses for a photo while waiting for an autograph from a Bandits player after the game on Saturday, January 27, 2024. Photo courtesy Jason Stangl.

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