AUSTIN, MN – Travis Kothenbeutel scored his team leading 8th and 9th goals of the season to power the Bruins in a tight 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Magicians on Saturday night at Riverside Arena, their 5th point (out of 6) gained in eight days against the Magicians.
The Bruins got the first goal at 4:26 of the opening period – Dante Zapata’s first NAHL goal, set up by Justin Misiak and Jan Stefka. Stefka moved the puck from the half-wall to below the goal line to Misiak, who fed Zapata in the slot for a 1-0 Bruins lead. Within the final minute of the period, a Jaden Shields shot from center ice was mishandled by Magicians goaltender Daniil Gerasimov, who kicked a rebound to Kothenbeutel for his first of the night and 2-0 Bruins lead at the first intermission.
Jake Kucharski kept the Magicians off the board through a scoreless second period, making 14 saves through two periods. In the 3rd, the Magicians broke through at 7:55 when Will Hammer finished a cross ice feed from Pieter Von Steinbergs and tricked a puck just behind Kucharski to make it 2-1. The Magicians made a strong push to tie the game but Kothenbeutel buried an empty netter with 59 seconds left to restore the two goal lead. Fighting to the last moments, Hammer scored again with 14 seconds remaining, redirecting a shot from Hunter Lellig, but it wasn’t enough as the Bruins hung on for the victory.
The win finished a strong month of November for the Bruins, who went 5-1-3, and leapfrogged Bismarck into the fourth and final Central Division playoff spot. Kucharski made 22 saves for his sixth win. The Bruins open December by hosting the Aberdeen Wings on Friday and Saturday night at Riverside Arena. Game time is 7:05 each night.