Bandits' Season Ends After Bitter Game 5 Defeat
The St. Louis Bandits NAHL team falls to Michigan, 2-1, in a season-ending playoff loss.
Four-time winners of the Robertson Cup, the St. Louis Bandits have proven that they are a team to be taken seriously. After a series victory against the Janesville Jets in round one of the North American Hockey League playoffs, the Bandits went on to face the Michigan Warriors in round two.
The Bandits started the series by winning Game 1, but the Warriors took the second game, 3-2. The Bandits headed to Michigan and lost, 2-1, in Game 3, but then came back with a 3-2 win thanks to a game-winning goal from Patrick Sheehan of Creve Coeur that forced a fifth and decisive game.
On Monday night, the teams returned to Chesterfield to an excited crowd at the Hardees Iceplex.
Both teams fought fiercely with 30 shots on goal each, but the Bandits fell behind on a goal from the Warriors’ Robert Tadazak at 6:01 in the first period, and a goal from Warriors forward Andrew Kolb at 16:20 in the second period.
Bandits forward Evan Stibbard brought the crowd to their feet with a goal at 18:10 in the third period, with an assist by defenseman Blake Edwards. But with less than two minutes left in the period, the Bandits were unable to score again. The game ended 2-1, sending Michigan one step closer to the Robertson Cup Finals.
“Everyone is a little disappointed,” said Bandits assistant coach Trevor Stewart. “Our goal was to make it to nationals this year, and we fell a little short. The Warriors had an outstanding goalie and we had a tough time getting around him.”
Though the season is now over for the Bandits, work for next season will begin very soon.
“We’re losing about half our roster next year,” said Stewart. “We have guys leaving for college and we may have some leaving for Junior Level hockey, so we need to do a lot of recruiting.”
Open camp tryouts for the team will be held May 13-15 at the Hardees Iceplex in Chesterfield.