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Bandits secure first place after RBC Cup preliminary round

The Canadian Press

5/17/2013 12:30:16 AM

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. -- The Brooks Bandits clinched first place in the preliminary round of the RBC Cup with a 5-2 win over the Surrey Eagles on Thursday.

Brandon Bruce, Mark Reners and Tyson McCallum scored in the first seven minutes for Brooks at the national junior A hockey championship.

The victory means the Bandits will face the Minnesota Wilderness in a Saturday semifinal, while the Eagles will face the Summerside Western Capitals in a rematch of the 1997 national championship game.

Summerside fell 4-2 to the Truro Bearcats in the late game.

Anthony Petruzzelli and Cam Maclise had the other goals for Brooks (3-1), which won a rematch after losing 4-1 to the Eagles in the Western Canada Cup championship game on May 4.

Dan O'Keefe and Trevor Cameron scored for Surrey (3-1), which trailed 5-0 before the game's midway point.

Brooks hit the scoreboard first just over a minute into the game, as Bruce buried a loose puck behind Surrey netminder Michael Santaguida. That ended Santaguida's shutout streak at just over 91 minutes, dating back to the Eagles' overtime win over Summerside on Monday night.

Reners made it 2-0 at 5:37, finishing off a pretty feed from Dakota Mason, and McCallum, making his tournament debut, snapped one past Santaguida 1:15 later.

Petruzzelli pushed the lead to 4-0 just past the five-minute mark of the second period, picking off an ill-advised Surrey pass and beating Santaguida. Maclise then scored his tournament-leading fifth goal at 7:43, collecting the rebound of an Anthony Paskaruk shot and making it 5-0.

The Eagles finally got on the board nine minutes in to the second period, as O'Keefe drove the net to tip a centring feed from Drew Best past Brooks goaltender Michael Fredrick, cutting the Bandits lead to 5-1.

Cameron scored arguably the best goal of the tournament thus far to round out the scoring at 15:04 of the second, picking up the puck at his own blue-line before dancing around a Brooks defenceman and Fredrick for a short-handed goal.

Surrey got no closer, managing just six shots in the third period as it lost for the fifth time in 26 playoff games.

Despite the shaky start Santaguida finished with 31 saves, while Fredrick made 22 stops to record the win.

Later Thursday, the Bearcats earned their first win of the tournament in its last game.

Philip Fife, Kyle Morrsion, Adam Guy and Zack Evans-Renaud scored for Truro (1-3), which had been mathematically eliminated on Tuesday after a loss to Minnesota.

Scott Trask and Craig MacLauchlan scored for Summerside (2-2).