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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins Try to Keep Season Alive on Home Ice

Photo credit: Don Boesen, Boesen Photography

With their backs against the wall, the Bruins return home to Riverside Arena in a 0-2 hole to the Bismarck Bobcats, facing elimination for the first time this year. A much more competitive game two didn’t reap any results for the B’s, who fell 4-1, following game one’s 5-1 defeat. The Bruins have won three consecutive games on home ice, dating back to the regular season finale on April 9th, but they’ll have to win the next two plus a game five back in Bismarck on Monday in order to keep their season alive. 

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Solving Shepard: Bismarck’s netminder Hunter Shepard has been just as good as advertised through the first two games of the series, stopping 50 of 52 Bruins shots. Named NAHL goaltender of the year and MVP of the Central Division, Shepard’s only blemish in game one was a self-induced turnover that gift-wrapped a goal for Jacob Paganelli. The future Minnesota-Duluth backstop was just as sharp in game two, allowing only a second period goal off the helmet of Travis Kothenbeutel.

Downtown Willie Brown: Brown continues to terrorize the Bruins this year, adding four more points in two games after ten in the regular season. The veteran forward added three assists in game one and the fourth and final Bismarck goal in game two. In the regular season, he set the tone with five assists on opening night, and finished the year with two goals and eight helpers against the B’s.

Carlson Composure: The Bruins hope that after announcing his commitment to play DI hockey at Providence College next season, Kris Carlson can relax a little bit in games three and four. Although he didn’t play poorly over the first two games, the B’s will likely need him to replicate his form from the last head-to-head meeting at Riverside on March 11th and 12th when he stopped 59 of 60 total shots in a Bruins weekend sweep.

Power outage: After four power play goals in round one helped the Bruins knock off Minot, the well has run dry in the finals, going 0 for 6 through the first two games. The absence of Gilbert Gabor, who scored 11 power play goals in the regular season is certainly a factor, as has been Bismarck’s proficiency on their own man advantage, going 2 for 4 and ranking first overall out of all NAHL playoff teams.

 

CENTRAL DIVISION FINALS SCHEDULE

Game #

AWAY

HOME

DATE

TIME

VENUE

1

Austin (1)

Bismarck (5)

Fri, Apr 29

7:15pm

VFW Sports Center

2

Austin (1)

Bismarck (4)

Sat, Apr 30

7:15pm

VFW Sports Center

3

Bismarck

Austin

Fri, May 6

7:05pm

Riverside Arena

4 (if nec)

Bismarck

Austin

Sat, May 7

7:05pm

Riverside Arena

5 (if nec)

Austin

Bismarck

Mon, May 9

7:15pm

VFW Sports Center

 

GAME RECAPS:

GAME 1 – AUSTIN: 1 AT BISMARCK: 5
SCORING:
BISBakich (Brown, Wallace) – 0:44 of 1st
BIS – Strand (Demel, Brown) – 13:27 of 1st (PP)
BIS – Mismash (Melton) – 17:19 of 1st
BIS – Herdt (Bakich, Brown) – 1:12 of 2nd
BIS – Strand (Nelson, Fladeby) – 5:31 of 3rd
AUS – Paganelli (unassisted) – 7:21 of 3rd

GOALTENDING:
AUS – Carlson (
13 saves on 18 shots), Goor (3 saves on 3 shots)
BISShepard (25 saves on 26 shots)
POWER PLAY:
AUS – 0 for 2
BIS1 for 2

GAME 2 – AUSTIN: 1 AT BISMARCK: 4
SCORING:
BIS – Fladeby (Souto, Strand) – 18:28 of 1st
BIS – Wood (Batna) – 1:54 of 2nd
AUS – Kothenbeutel (Drobot, Stefka) – 13:55 of 2nd
BIS – Pike (Herdt, Wood) – 19:58 of 2nd (PP)
BIS – Brown (Wood) – 4:15 of 3rd

GOALTENDING:
AUS – Carlson (26 saves on 30 shots)
BIS – Shepard (25 saves on 26 shots)
POWER PLAY:
AUS –
0 for 4
BIS – 1 for 2

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Bismarck head to head (Bismarck leads 6-2-2):
click date for game story

09/18/15 Austin 3 at Bismarck 6
09/19/15 Austin 0 at Bismarck 3
11/13/15 Austin 4 at Bismarck 6
11/14/15 Austin 3 at Bismarck 2
11/20/15 Bismarck 3 at Austin 7
11/21/15 Bismarck 8 at Austin 1
03/11/16 Bismarck 0 at Austin 1/OT
03/12/16 Bismarck 1 at Austin 2/SO

04/29/16 Austin 1 at Bismarck 5 (Game 1)
04/30/16 Austin 1 at Bismarck 4 (Game 2)
05/06/16 Bismarck at Austin – 7:05 PM (Game 3)
05/07/16 Bismarck at Austin – 7:05 PM (Game 4, if necessary)
05/09/16 Austin at Bismarck – 7:15 PM (Game 5, if necessary)

 

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

The puck drops from Riverside Arena on Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 PM CT. Tickets are on sale now at Hy Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn and Conference Center for $4 off the door price ($11/adults and $8/students & seniors). Tickets purchased can be used to either game. In addition, unused tickets from round one can be used to either game.

Both games will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on FASTHockey.com, and audio only on AM 1480 KAUS in Austin as well as streaming online at myaustinminnesota.com. The broadcasts begin at 6:55. Intermission updates for all games can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@theaustinbruins).