AUSTIN, MN – For the second night in a row, the Bruins erased a two-goal deficit to come from behind and defeat the Minnesota Wilderness. Travis Kothenbeutel’s goal with under a minute remaining in regulation was the game winner in a 4-3 final on Saturday night at Riverside Arena.
Just like Friday, the Wilderness had a 2-0 lead at the end of one period after goals by Alexander Esbjors and Dylan Mills in the middle minutes of the opening frame. Esbjors redirected a shot from Pavel Mikhasenok off of his leg and just over the goal line at 10:13 for the first goal. Mills led a two-on-one rush and beat Alex Schilling five hole at 13:45 to make it 2-0.
Exactly two minutes into the second period, Justin Misiak cut the lead in half, with a hail-mary-like shot from near the point that deflected high off a Wilderness defenseman and up and over netminder Luke Kania. Jan Stefka took a major penalty for checking from behind and the Bruins killed it off, but the Wilderness made it 3-1 at 13:17 when a shot by Louis Roehl bounced off Schilling’s glove and in. Just about three minutes later, Jason Koehn scored a similar goal for the Bruins to cut the lead back to one. The Wilderness led 3-2 after two periods.
With seven minutes left in regulation, it was Friday’s hero AJ Drobot tying the game with a bank-shot from below the goal line that went in off Kania to tie the game at three. As the clock ticked under a minute, Travis Kothenbeutel and Dante Zapata worked a give and go, freeing up Kothenbeutel in front for the game-winner, a shot just over the right shoulder of Kania.
Alex Schilling made 32 saves for the win and the Bruins pulled within one point of the Wilderness for third place in the Central Division. They’ll travel to South Dakota next weekend to take on the Brookings Blizzard on Friday and the Aberdeen Wings on Saturday.