BROOKINGS, SD – Justin Brandt returned to the place he made his NAHL debut and played hero, scoring the game-winning goal 18 seconds into overtime as the Bruins beat Brookings, 4-3 on Saturday night at Larson Ice Center, sweeping their preseason opening weekend.
The Bruins never trailed in the game and jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Arturas Laukaitis at 14:24 of the first (4 on 4) and Jacob Peterson at 10:14 of the 2nd (power play). Laukaitis came with Peterson on a rush and dangled into the slot before finally finishing his chance at the goal line. Peterson’s goal came on a point shot through traffic and signaled the end of the game for Brookings netminder Jeremy Forman. Owen Zdunski did not allow a goal in his half of the game in the Bruins net.
The Blizzard got on the board at 17:13 of the second when Andriy Denyskin scored his second goal in as many games, capitalizing on the Bruins failure to clear their defensive zone. Austin led 2-1 at the end of two periods.
At 6:20 of the 3rd, the Bruins power play converted again when Kaiden Scott blasted a one-time drop pass from Dante Zapata past Nick Althaus to make it 3-1. Brookings had the answer less than two minutes later from returner Doug Larson. At 12:01 of the third, the Blizzard tied the game when Griffen Sanom cashed a partial breakaway, just sliding the puck under the pad of Mads Sogaard. Sanom’s goal signaled overtime.
It took just 18 seconds for Brandt to end the game once 3-on-3 OT began, as he shot through the neutral zone and broke in alone, slipping a backhand between the legs of Althaus for the game-winner. The Bruins out-shot Brookings 41-35 for the game.
Next up for the Bruins is a home-and-home with the Minnesota Magicians on Friday and Saturday night, beginning with the preseason home finale on Friday at Riverside Arena. Game time is 7:05 and tickets will be sold at the door only, for $10/adult and $5/student & senior. Season ticket holders receive free admission.