AUSTIN, MN – In a back and forth game filled with penalties, momentum swing into Brookings’ favor with just over seven minutes to go in the 3rd period when goaltender Josh Boyko made an incredible pad save on Austin’s Jack Murphy and moments later, Connor Koviak scored a shorthanded goal to break a 2-2 tie. The Blizzard would add on for a 4-2 win, a sweep of the Bruins, and some separation in the playoff race.
Entering the game five points behind Brookings for the fourth and final Central Division playoff spot, the Bruins came out strong, scoring at 1:45 for a 1-0 lead. Logan Haskins scooped up a rebound to the left of Boyko and put it over his glove after good work by linemates Jason Koehn and Evan Cholak. Brookings got even at 7:01 when Brendan Stanko took a turnover off the end boards and put it behind Bruins goaltender Alex Schilling. The game was even at one after one period.
Despite equal shot margins of 13-7 Bruins in the first and second period, it was the Blizzard getting the lone goal of the 2nd – a redirect by Stanko on a point shot from Cam Babiak 13:44 into the middle frame. Brookings led 2-1 heading into the third.
Leading scorer Justin Misiak knotted the game less than four minutes into the third, cutting to the slot and trickling a shot through Boyko. The Bruins seemed to have the momentum after Misiak’s goal, but Boyko kept them at bay and despite numerous power play chances, the game remained tied until Koviak’s shorthanded marker at 12:42. The Bruins got into penalty trouble for the remainder of the game and on their 10th opportunity, Brookings finally cashed in on a goal from Brandon Kruse to make it 4-2 at 16:42. The Bruins would outshoot Brookings 37-21 in the game.
With their win, the Blizzard leapfrogged Aberdeen, who saw its 8-game winning streak end on Saturday. The Bruins are six points behind the Wings for fourth and begin a four game roadtrip on Friday in Minot, with 14 games remaining in the regular season.