After rolling through their first three games of the RBC Cup undefeated, the Surrey Eagles were brought down to earth Thursday by the Brooks Bandits.
The Alberta League-champion Bandits – who’ve now played the Eagles three times in three weeks, winning twice, dating back to the Western Canada Cup in Nanaimo – jumped all over the Eagles early, cruising to a 5-2 win at Summerside, P.E.I.’s Credit Union Place.
Brooks opened the scoring 1:24 into the first period on a goal from Brandon Bruce, and had tripled the lead to 3-0 by the seven-minute mark of the opening frame, with Mark Reners and Tyson McCallum tallying for the Bandits.
In the second period, it was much of the same for the beleaguered Birds, as they watched Brooks extend the lead to 5-0 – on goals by Anthony Petruzzelli and Cam Maclise – before the midway point of the second period.
Surrey defenceman Dan O’Keefe – who was yet to score this year, in regular season or playoffs – finally got the B.C. team on the board 9:18 into the middle frame, and Trevor Cameron, shorthanded, made it 5-2 after 40 minutes.
Neither team scored in the third period.
The result evens the preliminary-round records for both teams at 3-1, though Brooks now sits as the first-place team by virtue of winning the head-to-head matchup.
Friday is an off-day for the RBC Cup, and semifinals are to be played Saturday. In one semifinal, the Eagles will play the Summerside Western Capitals, while Brooks will face off against the Minnesota Wilderness.
The winners of those two semifinal tilts will play in the RBC Cup championship game Sunday evening.