The Brooks Bandits had a rough start to their quest for the Alberta Junior Hockey League franchise’s first Doyle Cup, losing 7-2 at home Friday to the Penticton Vees.
Logan Johnston scored twice while Minnesota Wild draft pick Mario Lucia, Wade Murphy, Joey Benik, Bryce Gervais, and Troy Stecher also tallied to put the BCHL champions ahead in the best-of-seven series which will determine a winner advancing to the Royal Bank Cup at Humboldt, Sask., from May 5 to 13.
Brooks, down 3-0 early in the second period, got themselves on the board with a pair of markers from Colton Semenok and Chris Muscoby, who connected on the power play.
However, Penticton, which also netted a pair in the middle frame, broke the game wide open in the third and potted three unanswered.
The Vees, who won an incredible 42 straight regular season games this season, have only suffered three losses in 15 playoff games, a run that was capped by a sweep of Powell River in the BCHL final.
Meanwhile, Brooks faced most of their adversity this post-season in the AJHL final, bouncing the Fort McMurray Oil Barons four games to two — which included a 7-1 loss, similar to the proportions of Friday’s game.
In the event of a sweep in the first two games of the best-of-seven fight for Doyle Cup supremacy, the remainder of the series shifts to Penticton. A split would mean Game 3 is played in Brooks before both teams hit the road.