CLOQUET, MN – The Bruins got off to a slow stat on Saturday night and couldn’t recover as the Minnesota Wilderness claimed a 6-2 win at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in the season series finale.
The Wilderness got first period goals from Michael Zuffante and Dylan Mills to take a 2-0 lead. Zuffante shoveled a puck into an open net to the left of Bruins goaltender Jake Kucharski at 5:56 and Mills netted a power play goal 12:47, deflecting a point shot from Tyler Vold. The Wilderness pelted 19 first period shots, to the Bruins three.
Although they got a five minute power play in the first minute of the second period when Troy Dobbs got a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind, the Bruins allowed a shorthanded goal to Nick Olczyk at 3:58 to make it 3-0. Later in the period, skating 4 on 4, Zach Mills extended it to 4-0, which was the score after two.
Just 33 seconds into the third, the Wilderness got another power play goal, as Jesse Farabee camped at the top of the crease and tipped a Tristan Rostagno pass into the net, making it 5-0. At 6:02, Jan Stefka got the Bruins on the board with a rebound goal on a power play – his 5th of the season series against the Wilderness. Zuffante and Jason Koehn traded goals at the end of the period to bring the score to a 6-2 final.
Luke Kania made 25 saves for the win, while Kucharski stopped 36 of 42. The Bruins will begin a five game homestand at Riverside Arena on Friday night against the NAHL-leading Janesville Jets at 7:05.