Photo credit: Eric Johnson, Austin Daily Herald
AUSTIN, MN – Heading into the 3rd period all even at two, Miha Zajc scored a shorthanded goal at 5:15 and the Bruins held off the Bobcats, 3-2 in game four of the Central Finals, evening the series and setting up a winner-take-all game five on Monday night in BIsmarck.
The Bruins scored the only two goals of the opening period, starting the scoring just past the halfway mark when Evan Cholak deflected a Marcus Karlstrom shot from the right wall behind netminder Hunter Shepard. At 15:36, Justin Misiak pounced on a Bismarck turnover and set up Jade Miller for his team leading fifth postseaon goal and a 2-0 lead that Austin took into the locker room.
Bismarck was back for vengance in the 2nd period and got on the board at 5:26 when Aaron Herdt's right-circle shot made it's way past Kris Carlson. Continuing their momentum, Nick Alexander scored on a backhanded wraparound at 14:48 to square things at two. The score was all even heading into the third.
A Charlie Spetz interference penalty worked in the Bruins favor when Zajc cashed in at 5:15 of the end frame. After taking a pass from Travis Kothenbeutel, Zajc crossed to the middle with Luke Forfar shielding Shepard's vision and ripped in his second goal in as many days. The Bruins had to bear down after a double-minot for hitting from behind against Jan Stefka, but the penalty kill finished 6 for 6. Austin did well to keep Bismarck from getting a chance to tie it up late and Carlson made 26 saves to earn the win.
The Bruins travel to Bismarck tomorrow and will play Monday night for the 2016 Central Cup at VFW Sports Center for game five at 7:15. Fans can watch the game on FASTHockey.com or listen on AM 1480 KAUS and myaustinminnesota.com, with coverage beginning at 7:05.