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Bandits top North Stars to win Centennial Cup

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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — The Brooks Bandits defeated the Battlefords North Stars 4-0 on Sunday to win the Centennial Cup for the third consecutive time.

Hudson Malinoski scored twice in the second period to help the Alberta Junior Hockey League Bandits win the 51st national junior-A hockey championship at Stride Place.

Hunter Wallace opened the scoring midway through the second period. Heath Armstrong and Malinoski added quick goals as Brooks scored three times within a 97-second span.

"This is an amazing feeling" said Wallace. "Nobody has ever three-peated before. I'm going to steal a line from our captain last year, who said 'this is Brooks Bandits hockey, and this is what we do.'"

Malinoski added a power-play goal with 15 seconds left in the period.

Ethan Barwick made 30 saves for the shutout. Josh Kotai made 37 saves for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League North Stars.

“Every time you win it feels a little different,” said Brooks head coach Ryan Papaioannou. “I think last year’s win was a bit more stressful just with how the game went, but this one I feel like we controlled the third period very well. As coaches, we just sat back and trusted our guys to get the job done.”

The 11-day tournament featured 10 teams from across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2023.