Photo: Bandits forward Lenny Young, right, tucks in one of his three goals Saturday night, as he and Ian McAllister each had hat tricks in the Bandits 10-3 win over the St. Paul Canadiens at the Civic Centre. - Robb Fenton Photo
By Robb Fenton
It was a situation they hadn’t found themselves in for a long time.
The Lloydminster Bandits had to stop a mini two-game losing streak and they did just that Saturday night, hammering the St. Paul Canadiens 10-3 a night after falling 7-6 to the Saddle Lake Warriors.
“It’s good, we had a couple games where we struggled and every team has to go through their trials and tribulations, so it was just good to come out with two points and a good solid effort,” Bandits assistant coach Del MacEwan said after Saturday’s win.
The Bandits wasted little time opening the scoring, as Lenny Young tapped the puck into an empty net after a turnover just 14 seconds into the game.
“It really was (nice). We’ve struggled a bit trying to keep the momentum early, so after that first one, everyone was up, everyone was going and had a good feel on the bench. It then carried through for the rest of the game,” MacEwan said.
While the team only has three losses all season, there have been times when a consistent effort has been lacking.
Consistency is a huge thing when it comes to the Bandits and it was clear Saturday, the team was more focussed on playing a complete game than they may have been in the past few games.
“In this game, 60 minutes was played. There wasn’t too much of a let down. Our game Friday, we looked a little tired it seemed like, so this one was good, it was a good 60 minutes from everyone,” MacEwan said.
After the quick start, the Bandits continue to pour it on, scoring four more times in the first period to take a 5-1 lead to the intermission.
Young scored twice, while Ian McAllister, Joel Budd and Dan Wheeler added singles.
“It’s huge, it gets us some momentum heading into our game Wednesday against Vegreville. Scoring 10 goals is always good and gets us some confidence putting the puck in the net,” Budd said of the importance of the win.
The quick start was something the Bandits’ players were happy with, as they knew with a lead, the Canadiens couldn’t keep up with them.
“Getting that first goal, the first shift was big. We just kept building off the good start,” Budd said.
Putting up 10 goals was obviously nice, but MacEwan was just as proud of his team’s play in their own end.
All three of St. Paul’s goals were more of unfortunate bounces and unlikely situations than breakdowns for the Bandits.
“We really worked hard defensively, combined with a couple good hits, it’s something the coaches always like to see,” MacEwan said.
McAllister, after his first period tally, added two more, while Budd scored a second goal, Young completed the hat trick and Allan Baker scored his second of the season to close out the scoring.
“Veg is a good team, we’ll have to have our best out there and hopefully we’re full of confidence tonight and keep it rolling Wednesday,” Budd said.
“This game was our momentum builder. This was the game to get all the confidence back and I think with the 10-3, confidence is there. Veg is going to have a nice ride,” MacEwan stated.
The Bandits (11-2-0-1)welcome the Vegreville Rangers (12-1-0-0) in a first place showdown, Wednesday night to the Civic Centre for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.