by John Peterson
It has been a pretty good week for Austin Bruins (32-17-1) goaltender Nick Lehr (Roseville, MN). Wednesday, Lehr committed to the University of Minnesota to play his college hockey. Friday, the soon-to-be 21-year-old led the Bruins to a 2-0 victory over the Minot Minotauros (20-28-3) with a 30-save shutout at Riverside Arena in Austin.
In what was an evenly played first period, Austin jumped out to an early lead at 3:48, when Lucas Kohls’ (Forest Lake, MN) quick wrist shot from low in the right circle appeared to fool Minotauros’ goaltender Brandon Wildung (Minneota, MN). Both teams exchanged unsuccessful power plays through the middle part of the frame, but in the waning moments, Guillaume Leclerc (Franois, France) gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead on what looked like a harmless shot from the half-wall that was deflected into the top shelf.
Both teams generated several scoring chances in the middle period, but neither team found the back of the net. Merrick Madsen (Acton, CA) relieved Wildung for the Minotauros at the outset of the period. Minot outshot Austin 17-10 in the stanza, but Lehr stood tall for the Bruins to preserve the 2-0 lead.
Lehr only faced three third period shots, but stopped all three to earn his sixth shutout and league-leading 28th win of the season. The Bruins won the final shots tally 34-30 en route to its 22nd home victory in 25 games.
The Bruins will host the Minotauros again Saturday night, before hitting the road next week. Saturday’s puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on fasthockey.com. Next Wednesday, the Bruins travel to the Twin Cities for a midweek battle with the Minnesota Magicians. Immediately following that game, the team will travel out to Minot for next weekend’s series against the Minotauros.