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Former Estevan Bruin wins national junior A hockey title

Caelan Fitzpatrick also won an SJHL title with the Estevan Bruins in 2021-22
Estevan Bruins Brooks Bandits pic
Former Estevan Bruin Caelan Fitzpatrick, pictured here during a game against the Brooks Bandits at last year's Centennial Cup in Estevan, won a national title with Brooks on Sunday.

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. - A former member of the Estevan Bruins has won the Centennial Cup national junior A hockey championship.

Caelan Fitzpatrick, who played for the Bruins from 2020-22, was part of the Brooks Bandits team that won the title Sunday with a 4-0 victory over the Battlefords North Stars in Portage la Prairie, Man.

Fitzpatrick finished the tournament with two goals and six points in six games.

The Bandits have now won the last three Centennial Cup tournaments, and four overall.

Fitzpatrick, who was a North Stars' prospect at one time, had 28 goals and 48 points in 57 games for the Bruins in the 2021-22 season. He added four goals and eight points in 15 playoff games for the Bruins, as he helped Estevan win its first Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League title since 1999.

He also had a goal and an assist in four games for the Bruins at the 2022 Centennial Cup in Estevan. 

His rights were dealt to the Bandits last summer. He had 25 goals and 51 points in 53 games for the Bandits this season and added 11 goals and 16 points in 15 postseason games for Brooks.

Fitzpatrick has committed to play for Niagara University of the NCAA next season.  

The Stars and the Bandits were the top two teams in the country for the bulk of the 2022-23 season. Brooks won the Alberta Junior Hockey League championship, while the Stars captured the SJHL title for the third time since 2017.

The Bandits and the North Stars were scoreless midway through the second period in Sunday's final, but the Bandits tallied three times in less than two minutes to take a 3-0 lead, and added a fourth goal with 15 seconds to play in the second period. 

At the Centennial Cup, Brooks went 6-0 overall, going 4-0 in the round robin and winning their semifinal game 3-0 over the Ottawa Junior A Senators. The Stars were 3-1 in the round robin and dominated the host Portage Terriers 7-1 in their semifinal contest.