AUSTIN, MN – The Lucia family is well known in Minnesota hockey circles and Don’s nephew of the Wilderness, Gino wrote the latest chapter by scoring twice in the third period to break a 2-2 tie. The relative of the U of M Golden Gopher bench boss scored at 7:56 and 13:32 of the final frame and the Bruins fell to 0-2-1 on the early season with the home opener loss.
Despite a shot total of 11-9 in the Bruins favor after one period, the Wilderness had more scoring chances, puck possession, and zone time. Goaltender Alex Schilling was particularly strong in the opening frame, keeping the game scoreless.
At 6:12 of the second, the Bruins were quick to convert their first powerplay chance into a goal when Valdemar Ahlberg deflected a shot from Jaden Shields over Wilderness goalie Trevor Micucci. A secondary assist was awarded to Toby Sengvongxay. The Wilderness gained a two-man advantage three minutes later leading to Kosta Likourezos’s second goal of the season to even the score. It took just 44 seconds for the Bruins to respond, however. Travis Kothenbeutel broke in shorthanded and backhanded a shot past Micucci, set up by Mike Forman. The Wilderness would get even again at 12:45 when Nick Altmann drove to the net up the left wing and powered one past Schilling. It was 2-2 at the end of two periods.
Lucia broke the tie at 7:56 of the third banking a shot off Schilling’s back after the Bruins netminder had sprawled to stop Ben Ward’s breakaway. Lane Krenzen hit a crossbar a few minutes later before Lucia scored again, electing to shoot on a 2-on-1 and making the right decision, beating Schilling to his stick side. In the final minutes, Ahlberg hit a goalpost and Kothenbeutel was denied a breakaway chance, and the Wilderness skated away with their first win of the season. The Bruins won the shot battle, 37-25.
The Bruins remain home, hosting the Janesville Jets on Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Discount tickets will go on sale Monday at the Bruins vendors: Hy Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn and Austin Conference Center.