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By Darryl G. Smart

They may not have got any points in the win column, but Darren DeDobbelaer and the Brantford Bandits are looking at their Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League opening weekend as a sign of things to come.

The Bandits hit the road this weekend and dropped a 6-4 decision to the Cambridge RedHawks on Friday and lost 4-2 to the Stratford Warriors Sunday.

“I like where we’re at,” DeDobbelaer, the Bandits general manager said. “We will surprise teams this year. Most of these kids have never played a junior game before. It will be a work in progress.”

Friday the nerves showed, spotting the RedHawks a 5-0 lead. But that didn’t deter the young Bandits, who scored four-straight goals to make it close, before Andrew Britton’s empty-netter sealed the win.

Xavier Moura led the Bandits with a pair of goals, while Adam Hoff and Jesse Reimer added singles.

Matthew Dimaline scored two goals in the first period to lead the RedHawks. Luke Bibby, Tanner Bibby and Joseph Marra also scored in the victory.

Sunday, Vyacheslav Gordeichuk stopped 40 shots in the 4-2 loss to the Warriors.

Callan Chrtner and Izac Blum scored during a 21-shot barrage in the first period for the Warriors, while Camden Daigle and Ty Higgins added goals in the second frame. 

Reimer and Zachary Gratton scored for the Bandits.

“I like the way the guys work,” DeDobbelaer said. “It’s a hard working team that is going to be competitive.”

This weekend the Bandits are at the civic centre for a pair of games. Saturday they host the Elmira Sugar Kings at 7pm, and on Sunday the Listowel Cyclones come to town for an 8:30pm game.

Highlights from our friends at 519 Sports Online