AUSTIN, MN – Travis Kothenbeutel’s three-point night – which lifted him to the 100 mark for his NAHL career – highlighted the Bruins’ fourth win in a row as they extended their point streak to seven games in a 5-2 home win against the Coulee Region Chill on Friday night.
The Bruins, who have been scoring the first goal in nearly 70% of their games, did so on this night in shorthanded fashion. After a Jaden Shields zone clear, Xander Lamppa caused a turnover behind the Chill net by netminder Josh Graziano and backhanded in a wraparound for his 2nd goal of the season. It remained 1-0 into the final minute of the period when Andy Willis found Benito Posa on a 2-on-1 to double the lead. Valdemar Ahlberg picked up a secondary helper.
Coulee scored 27 seconds into the second period to cut the lead in a half on a wrist shot by Marshal Plunkett past the glove of Mads Sogaard. From then on, the Bruins dominated the remainder of the period and scored a pair of late power play goals to swell the lead to three. Andy Willis ripped a shot through a Sviatoslov Kuchynski screen at 14:01 to make it 3-1, shortly followed by a goal from newly acquired defenseman Chase Pilawski at 15:20 for a 4-1 lead. Kothenbeutel assisted on both goals.
The key moment of the third period occurred at 10:11 when Benito Posa high-sticked Tyler Ebner and eventually received seven minutes in penalties plus a game misconduct after swinging at Plunkett. Ebner scored on a 5-on-3 after Lamppa went off for slashing but the Bruins locked it down for the rest of the kill to maintain a two-goal lead. With 1:03 remaining and the Coulee net empty, Kothenbeutel launched a shot directly off a defensive zone faceoff into the goal for the win-secure and his 100th point. He joined Jay Dickman and Brandon Wahlin as the only three Bruins to achieve the feat in their careers.
In goal, Mads Sogaard picked up his 6th win with 23 saves, while Graziano stopped 25 in the loss. The Bruins will go for the sweep on Saturday night in La Crosse at Green Island Ice Arena, at 7:00 PM. Fans not making the drive are encouraged to watch at The Bakery Lounge – the official road headquarters of Bruins hockey.