It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the Brooks Bandits are the favourites to win heading into the 2022 Centennial Cup at Affinity Place in Estevan.

The powerhouse Alberta representative only lost six games in regulation all season.

Now they'll put their squad up against the best from across Canada after beating Spruce Grove in the AJHL finals.

"I think we had a lot of times where adversity maybe wasn't something we faced so I think the playoffs were key for us having to go to overtime on three different occasions, and just getting our group pushed to the limit," said head coach Ryan Papaioannou.

Papaioannou said he's got an offensive minded team.

"Our game plan and our goal is obviously always to outscore our opponents, and we do that through an offensive style with our defence involved," he said. "We scored the most goals in our league I think in the last 20 years, so our style is up tempo and looking to create offence."

To put that offence into perspective, forward Ryan McCallister led the Bandits with a ridiculous 139 points in just 60 games, while forward TJ Hughes put 127 points, including 66 goals. Defencemen Zach Bookman wasn't far behind with 102 points, including 81 assists.

The Bandits will compete in Group A with Red Lake, Pickering, Collège Français de Longueuil, and Estevan. 

"In any national event, you're going to see all quality opponents, all league champions," Papaioannou said. "I think the quality of each is obviously going to be a little bit different, but I think we know each night is going to be a challenge."

Brooks will open against Longueuil before finishing their round robin against the Bruins, in a game that's circled on the calendars of many junior hockey fans.

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