ABERDEEN, SD. – After a dramatic shootout victory Thursday night, the Austin Bruins couldn’t carry momentum into Friday night’s game against the Aberdeen Wings. The Bruins and Wings started out evenly, with neither team scoring for the majority of the first. Two late goals in the first and three in the second would do the Bruins in, as they fell to the Wings 5-0.
Kyle McClellan was given his second straight start for the Bruins on this road trip and would go up against Henry Welsch. The Wings elected to give NAHL wins leader Matt Vernon a night off. Much like Thursday night, the Bruins weren’t able to muster up many shots on goal to start the game. Aberdeen would crack the scoreboard late in the first as Jonathan Bendorf deked out McClellan and slid a backhander passed the sprawled-out goalie. Less than two minutes later John Sladic knocked home a rebound to double the lead for the Wings.
The second period would not fare much better for Austin. Jack Powell beat McClellan with a wrist shot from the point, extending the lead to 3-0. Devon Fields would take a seat in the penalty box for holding at 5:25 of the first, creating the game’s first power play for either team. Nic Sicoly cashed in on the power play, scoring his 26th goal of the season. Sicoly was not done in the period as he beat McClellan again at 10:16, making it 5-0 in favor of the home team. The Wings wouldn’t score the rest of the way, but the damage was done.
Austin would go on to put up just four shots in the third period, making its total just 17 on the game. The Bruins spent five minutes of the third period on the penalty kill as Connor Mylymok was given a major penalty and game misconduct for slashing. Aberdeen would go on to outshoot Austin 36-17.
The Bruins remain in fourth place in the Central Division. Bismarck defeated Brookings to move up to 71 points and still in second place. Austin did get some help from the Minnesota Wilderness as they defeated the Minot Minotauros 5-4 on the road. The Bruins are still tied at 68 points with the Minotauros, but still in fourth place. Austin and Aberdeen are back at it Saturday night for the final time this season. Puck drop is 7:15 and the game can be found on Hockey TV.