NewsSports Bandits blitz Spruce Kings to claim Junior A crown SHARE ON: Brendan Pawliw, staff Sunday, May. 19th, 2019 Photo courtesy of Brendan Pawliw, MYPGNOW The Brooks Bandits took no prisoners during the final game of the National Junior A Championship. The host Bandits built up a 3-0 lead by the 13:30 mark of the first period (on goals by William Lemay, Simon Boyko, and Nathan Plessis) and then held on for a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Spruce Kings in the Gold Medal game. “I don’t think that is the start you want as we put ourselves behind and maybe a little bit too far behind but we had a resilient group that battled and clawed back and we were a couple bounces away from tying things up,” said Adam Maglio, Spruce Kings Head Coach. “Credit to them (the Bandits) they played a great game tonight, their start was excellent they came out hard and played a pretty good sixty minute game but I am proud of this group, really proud.” In the second, Patrick Cozzi cut the deficit down to pair thanks to a marker on the power-play. Brooks regained its three-goal lead back late in the frame after Boyko ripped a hard shot past the glove of Logan Neaton to make it a 4-1 game. 🎯 @BrooksBandits #NJAC pic.twitter.com/IXB08tB7J9 — National Junior A Championship (@HC_NJAC) May 19, 2019 The Spruce Kings rally in the third came up short. Nick Poisson scored his 6th of the tournament in as many games midway thru the period, while Nolan Welsh added another with 45 seconds left. “We had a great year. We are not going to discredit a BCHL championship or and a Doyle Cup. This is tough to swallow right but I think we’ll put things in perspective in a couple of days,” added Maglio. Brooks outshot Prince George 16-5 in the opening frame solving the NJAC’s top goaltender. Pierce Charleson of the Bandits made 26 saves as each team had 29 shots. Twenty-year-old Prince George forward Ben Brar was ejected from the game late in the second period after receiving a five-minute checking from behind major on Bandits forward Ray Christy. “Ben was a huge loss to us and obviously it was his last junior game and he cares so much, it was a tough play the guy kind of turned at the end on him and he finishes his hit and I felt awful for him but our guys love him in their and they got the kill and it built some momentum.” When asked if nerves played a factor in the opening period, Maglio acknowledged some of the players were a little up tight. “We had some guys with nerves for sure. It’s really hard to tell a guy not to be nervous, it doesn’t work like that as you need to go out and you need to try and have a good shift and a couple guys didn’t have a good first shift and by then the nerves didn’t go away until maybe the second period.” .@SpruceKings Head Coach Adam Maglio with @mypgnow after tough 4-3 loss to the @BrooksBandits in @HC_NJAC Final Game @GoBCHL #cityofpg #NJAC #sports pic.twitter.com/SwcS8ddOaW — My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) May 20, 2019 The game marked the eighth time both teams played each other in the last three weeks where the Spruce Kings claimed the Doyle Cup at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena in six games. This was the last Junior A contest for Brar, Cozzi, Max Coyle and Jay Keranen who have exhausted their eligibility and headed to the NCAA ranks next season. Dylan Anhorn, Liam Watson-Brawn, Layton Ahac, Logan Neaton, Dustin Manz and Ben Poisson are also headed to the university ranks in the fall even with eligibility still remaining. Everyone is invited to welcome the @SpruceKings back to Prince George to celebrate their championship season. Info: https://t.co/UULlf1qMah pic.twitter.com/qJ85MqxRA4 — Prince George, BC (@CityofPG) May 20, 2019 MYPGNOW’s Brendan Pawliw is providing extensive coverage of the National Junior A Championship from Brooks.