BROOKS INTO RBC CUP SEMIFINALS AFTER ROUT OF GOLDEN HAWKS
JASON LA ROSE
COBOURG, Ont. – Eight different players scored goals, 15 recorded at least a point and the Brooks Bandits pulled away in the final 40 minutes for an 8-0 win over the Trenton Golden Hawks on Tuesday afternoon at the 2017 RBC Cup.
The victory assures the unbeaten Bandits of a place in the semifinals on Saturday, while the Golden Hawks – who dropped their third in a row – need a win in their finale and a little help to reach the weekend.
Cale Makar and Jake Theis had a goal and an assist each for Brooks, which posted the largest shutout win at Canada’s National Junior A Championship since the New Westminster Royals blanked the Amherst Ramblers 9-0 at the 1990 Centennial Cup.
Mitch Benson recorded the shutout with a 23-save performance.
The Bandits got the scoring started early, with Conner Jean tapping in a cross-crease feed from Parker Foo for a 1-0 lead just past the four-minute mark of the first period.
That would be the lone goal of the opening frame, despite the Bandits holding a 13-7 advantage in shots.
The dam broke in the second; Makar hammered a slap shot through Trenton goaltender Chris Janzen just 17 seconds into the period to double the lead before Brooks struck for three goals in just over six minutes late in the stanza.
Nathan Plessis made it 3-0 at 12:46, beating Janzen under the glove with a quick shot, and Nic Hamre pushed the advantage to four just 32 seconds later, tipping in a Kord Pankewicz shot.
That was all for Janzen, who gave way to Elliot Gerth after allowing four goals on 27 shots.
Bandits captain Nick Prkusic welcomed Gerth with a goal on the first shot he faced, absolutely wiring a power-play marker past the Golden Hawks netminder with 63 seconds left in the second period.
A parade to the penalty box doomed Trenton in the third; Brooks scored three power-play goals in the first eight minutes of the period to provide the final margin of victory.
Ty Mappin was first at 2:45, finishing a back-door feed from Dennis Cesana – a carbon copy of the overtime winner from Brooks’ victory over Penticton on Sunday afternoon – before David D’Agostino beat Gerth from the face-off dot at 4:48, and Theis tapped in a rebound at 8:01.
Benson was busiest in the third period, making 11 stops as the Golden Hawks pressed to get on the board.
Trenton will finish its preliminary-round schedule Wednesday, taking on the Penticton Vees (3:30 p.m. ET), while Brooks will try to complete a perfect prelims against the host Cobourg Cougars on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET).