AUSTIN, Minn. – Ben Almquist scored a pair of goals while Peter Jacobs netted his first career NAHL goal and Josef Mysak added three assists as the Bruins skated by the Minnesota Wilderness, 4-3.
The Wilderness got things started in the first period when Tyler Watkins redirected a shot from defenseman Blake Holmes over Bruins’ netminder Brett Miller’s shoulder. Austin didn’t stay down long, however, as Ben Almquist evened things at one goal just over three minutes later. Like Watkins’ goal for the Wilderness, Almquist used a redirect to get his team on the board. Barrett Brooks broke into the Bruins offensive zone and carried the puck below the goal line. From there, it was funneled back to Josef Mysak at the left point who fired a shot just a couple inches off the ice. Almquist ramped the puck off his stick and into the back of the net making the score 1-1. The Victoria, MN, native Almquist wasn’t done yet. His second goal of the night came only 42 seconds later, this time on the power-play when he ripped a wrist shot through traffic and past Wilderness netminder Jonathan Mor. It was the Bruins’ first power-play goal against the Wilderness this season with Minnesota coming into Saturday night’s game as the top-ranked penalty kill unit in the entire NAHL. The remainder of the first period went by scoreless and the Bruins headed to the locker room with the 2-1 lead.
The second period proved to be the most trying for the Bruins starting with an extended 5-on-3 penalty kill which they managed to fight off. Later in the middle frame, Zach Anderson committed a hooking penalty resulting in the first penalty shot against this Bruins this season. Tyler Watkins took the chance for the Wilderness, coming wide into the right circle before settling in the high slot. His wrister went wide of Miller as the Bruins escaped the possible tying goal. Austin wasn’t out of the woods just yet, as they surrendered a short-handed goal the first one of the season against the black-and-gold midway through the frame. Nate Horn scored his ninth goal of the year, the Wilderness’ second shorthanded tally on the season, to even things at 2-2.
Late in the third, the Bruins took back control of the game. What looked like it was going to be another overtime game for Austin, was quickly turned around when Peter Jacobs scored his first NAHL goal, another power-play tally, to regain the lead 3-2. A minute and 31 seconds later, Carson Riddle scored his sixth goal of the season when he pounded home a Dante Sheriff rebound giving the Bruins the 4-2 lead. Minnesota made a comeback effort, scoring their third goal of the night, their first on the power-play, with only 31 seconds remaining but it proved to be too-little-too-late as the Bruins walked out of Riverside Arena with the victory and the two points.
Following the win, the Bruins improved to 9-6-1-2 on the season, while the Wilderness fell to 12-7-1-0. Austin was 2-for-3 on their power-play attempts while managing to go 6-for-7 on penalty kills. It was the Bruins first win over the Wilderness this season in the fourth game between the two clubs.
Austin is back on Riverside ice this coming weekend with a pair of games against the Aberdeen Wings. On Friday, it’s Military Appreciation Night where the Bruins will be wearing special military-inspired jerseys that will be available for purchase via a post-game auction. On Saturday, November 15, it’s Scout Night and the second post-game skate of the month. Tickets for this weekend’s games go on sale Monday, November 11th at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.