brooks bandits

(ISN) – Down 2-0 in the series and 2-0 late in the second period of Game 3, the Brooks Bandits summoned the effort necessary to earn a 4-3 comeback win over the Penticton Vees making the Doyle Cup a much more interesting series.

After a scoreless first period, Travis St. Denis thrilled the crowd of 3,006 as he poked the puck loose in the neutral zone and went in on a partial breakaway to slip the puck past Jan Obernesser making it 1-0 Vees.

Curtis Loik doubled the Vees lead later in the period at the end of an effective Vees shift in the Bandits’ zone. Loik put the puck through the legs of a Brooks defenceman and then beat Obernesser to make it 2-0.

But the Bandits did not roll over and go away. Just after a lengthy delay as goalie Obernesser appeared to be shaking off an injury and with just more than two minutes to go in the second, Matt Wilkins deflected a shot past Michael Garteig to get Brooks on the board. Shortly after that, Cam MacLise tied it up 2-2 just before the teams skated off for the second intermission.

Penticton retook the lead early in the third on Mario Lucia’s second goal of the series but the Vees couldn’t make it stand up as they proceeded to be penalized twice in the final frame giving the Bandits life. At 8:05, it was MacLise again tying the game with a power-play goal. Overtime appeared a possibility but with 1:48 to go, defenceman Colton Semenok fired a perfect shot beating Garteig high for the game-winner.

Here are some other developing storylines:

Brooks’ top scorers appear to have woken up. After going scoreless in the first two games, Maclise and Matt Wilkins both registered multiple points Tuesday. Defenceman Colton Semenok remains a major offensive factor for Brooks and potted the game-winner late in Game 3.

The Vees power play, which was given 12 opportunities through the first two games was allowed to operate just twice on Tuesday. Penticton’s speed generally draws plenty of hooking and holding calls but Brooks has tried to compensate for that and it will be interesting to see if the Vees get a couple more calls in Game 4.

Jan Obernesser appeared to build some confidence in Game 3 making a number of tough saves and stopping 31 pucks overall. After two games, he’d been hooked once and had a GAA above four.

Joey Benik, the Vees leading scorer in the regular season and co-leader in the BCHL playoffs, has just one point so far (a goal in in Game 1). Look for the Andover, Minn. product to make some noise in Game 4.

The road team has now won each game of the series. Game 4 is slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.