BROOKINGS, SD – The Bruins led or were tied for over 58 minutes, but Cade Borchardt’s goal at 18:47 of the third period gave the Brookings Blizzard the only lead they required to get a 6-5 win over Austin on Friday night at Larson Ice Center.
The Bruins had multiple leads over the course of the game, including 3-1 at the end of one, powered by goals from Dan Petrick, Cole Lawrence, and Dante Zapata. Petrick opened the scoring at 4:55, finishing a cross ice pass from John Wojciechowski. After Derek Hammer tied the game briefly at 8:09, Lawrence made it 2-1 Bruins, tapping in a loose puck from a Paul O’Connor point shot at 11:36. Wojciechowksi turned playmaker again at 15:47, setting up Zapata.
The Blizzard got goals from a pair of defensemen to get even in the middle frame. Brett Callahan got a shot past Alex Schilling through traffic off a faceoff at 7:48 before Cam Babiak took a feed at the right-wing circle from Nicholas Cardelli exactly three minutes later to tie the score at three. The Bruins would, however take a 4-3 lead into the locker room after Evan Cholak’s goal off the rush at 17:39 – Cholak’s first goal since November 18th.
In the third, Gunnar Goodmanson tied the game at four, placing a perfect sharp angle shot past Schilling at 4:18. After no initial signal from the referee, it was deemed a good goal. At 13:06, Justin Misiak cleaned up a Lawrence wrist shot for what looked like could be the game winner, but Brookings’ Doug Larson had the answer two minutes later off a rebound from a Connor Koviak offering. As the clock ticked under 1:30, Cade Borchardt unleashed a wrist shot from the right wing that beat Schilling, his NAHL rookie-leading 18th goal of the season, to give Brookings their first lead, and a 6-5 victory. Schilling stopped 22 of 28 while Josh Boyko picked up his fourth win over the Bruins this season, making 34 stops.
The Bruins play a crucial game on Saturday night in Aberdeen against a Wings team that is now just three points behind them for the fourth and final Central Division playoff spot. Game time is at 7:15 PM at Odde Ice Center.