Rd Deer’s Josh Zinger, a defenceman for the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL earned the Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy this season. (Emily Duncan Photography)

Rd Deer’s Josh Zinger, a defenceman for the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL earned the Stewy Stewart Memorial Trophy this season. (Emily Duncan Photography)

Brooks Bandits to play in Centennial Cup semi-final, Central Alberta players contributing

Central Alberta’s Noah Hackett and Josh Zinger help Brooks Bandits reach Centennial Cup semi-final

As the 2022 Centennial Cup moves into the playoff round, two Central Alberta players are helping their team succeed on the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s (CJHL) biggest stage.

Forward Noah Hackett from Ponoka and defenceman Red Deer’s Josh Zinger are both on the tournament’s only undefeated team left, the Brooks Bandits. The Bandits are the defending champions at the event, winning it in 2019. the national Junior A champion has been cancelled for the past two seasons.

Zinger has contributed two goals and five assists for seven points in four games at the tournament in Estevan, Sask. Meanwhile, Hackett has provided three goals and one assist for four points in three games.

Sitting at 4-0, the Bandits have a bye into the tournament semifinal. The Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League also got a bye to the semi-final.

The Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League will face the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Pickering Panthers in one of the quarterfinal games Friday afternoon followed by the Collège Français de Longueuil of the Quebec Junior Hockey League will play the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. 

Throughout the tournament, the Bandits have beaten the Collège Français de Longueuil 5-2, the Red Lake Miners 11-4, the Pickering Panthers 9-1, and most recently the Estevan Bruins 4-0.

The Bandits will play one of the two quarterfinal winners Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

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