BROOKS, Alta. - Luke Bast struck twice and the host Brooks Bandits opened up the 2019 Junior-A national championship with a 7-3 win over the Oakville Blades on Saturday.
William Lemay, Ryan Mahshie, Mack Hancock, Nick Hale and Brandon Scanlin also found the back of the net for the Bandits (1-0-0).
Thomas Maia struck twice while Josh Nixon had the other for the Blades (0-1-0).
Pierce Charleson made 15 saves for the win as Will Barber stopped 16-of-23 shots in a losing cause.
Earlier, the Ottawa Junior Senators began round-robin action with a 3-0 win over the Portage Terriers.
Francis Boisvert stopped all 20 shots his way for the shutout while Elie Boulerice scored once and set up two more.
Darcy Walsh and Kyle Jackson also had goals for Ottawa (1-0-0).
Nathan Moore turned away 25-of-28 shots for Portage (0-1-0).
The Prince George Spruce Kings round out the five-team tournament and open play Sunday against Oakville.
Preliminary-round action continues on Sunday. The semifinals are set for Saturday, with the championship May 19.