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Brooks Bandits gearing up for BCHL Rocky Mountain Challenge

Just over a week ago, the Brooks Bandits were crowned BCHL Alberta division champions. Now, they have their eyes on another prize. Just over a week ago, the Brooks Bandits were crowned BCHL Alberta division champions. Now, they have their eyes on another prize.
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LETHBRIDGE -

Just over a week ago, the Brooks Bandits were crowned BCHL Alberta division champions.

Now, they have their eyes on another prize.

They'll play in the Rocky Mountain Challenge against B.C.'s best.

"It's exciting. Been waiting a long time for this. The five months since joining the BCHL, it's all been leading to this. We're prepared and excited to have a good weekend,” said Bandits captain Nicholas DeGraves.

They'll face off against the Surrey Eagles.

Surrey finished the regular season with the best record among BC teams.

They capped off the year by winning the Fred Page Cup, beating the Penticton Vees in six games.

"They're a really offensive team, high-end players and led the league in scoring there. They've got a really prolific top line, so we've got to watch out for that. But we have guys of our own and we have guys to match them as well, so we're confident," DeGraves said.

It's been a long road for the Bandits.

After the Bandits and four other AJHL teams announced plans to join the BCHL, the team wasn't sure if they'd play another game this season.

"It was a rocky season. We weren't sure how the season was going to go after late January, early February. The league is B.C. They've been great to us throughout this whole transition and the whole thing and setting up this Rocky Mountain Challenge to have, in my opinion, two of the best teams in the country going at it," said Bandits assistant coach Taylor Makin.

The Rocky Mountain Challenge wasn't what players or coaches thought they would be playing for when the season started.

But now that they're here, they're looking to send a message to the rest of the BCHL.

"I think it's just best on best and trying to prove who's the best. We're able to play the best team in B.C. that's proven themselves all year to be the best. They had to beat the best. I think for us to be able to get here, it goes to show how strong we are and we're ready to prove it," said Bandits defenceman Keith McInnis.

The Bandits will host the entire best-of-three series.

Game 1 is Friday at 7 p.m.

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