AUSTIN, MN – Trailing by two with the goalie pulled, Jan Stefka scored with just under two minutes to play, but that was as close as the Bruins would get in a 2-1 Saturday night loss to the Bismarck Bobcats at Riverside Arena. It was only the third win by the road team in the head to head series dating back to the start of last season.
Bismarck scored early for a 1-0 lead when defenseman Jiei Halliday made a patient play to put goaltender Alex Schilling down and then banked it off him. The Bruins ending up outshooting the ‘Cats in the first (and all three periods), but trailed 1-0 at the first break.
In the 2nd, the Bobcats scored on their second of three powerplay chances as Matthew Berry found a puck sitting at his feet and tapped it into a gaping net for a 2-0 advantage. 2-0 was the score through two periods.
Will Ulrich kept the momentum on the Bobcats side, making over 40 saves and keeping the Bruins scoreless until the 18:04 mark when Jan Stefka blasted a shot from near the point on a 6 on 5 empty net situation. The Bruins had a few close calls in the final 1:56 to get the game tied but Ulrich held it down and Bismarck got the 2-1 win. Ulrich stopped 41 while Schilling made 22 saves in the losing effort.
The Bruins play just one game next weekend, a Saturday night affair in La Crosse against the Coulee Region Chill at 7:00.