by John Peterson
The NAHL’s best home team was no match for the Austin Bruins Friday night in Game 1 of the Robertson Cup Semifinals. The Bruins used two late first period goals and big saves from goaltender Jake Kielly (Eden Prairie, MN) to defeat the Lone Star Brahmas 3-1 at the NYTEX Sports Center in N. Richland Hills, Texas.
Scoring chances came few and far between in the first half of the opening period, but Bruins goalie Kielly made two huge saves midway through the frame. On the first one, Kielly sprawled out of his crease to rob Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) with the glove. Then Roman Uchyn (Chicago, IL) snuck behind the defense and was turned away by Kielly’s left pad.
Late in the first, Alex Jasiek (St. Louis, MO) head-manned a pass up ice to lead Trevor Boyd (Muskegon, MI) in on a breakaway, and Boyd beat Brahmas goalie Jake Kupsky (Waukesha, WI) through the five hole to give Austin a 1-0 lead. Then in the waning seconds of the period, Nico Sturm (Augsburg, Germany) made it 2-0 when he jammed in a loose puck from the edge of the crease.
The Bruins limited the Brahmas chances in the second period, as Kielly was only called upon to stop five Lone Star attempts. Kupsky turned away two or three good Austin chances to keep the score 2-0 after two.
Ian Scheid (Coon Rapids, MN) set up Alex Pettersson (Ockero, Sweden) for an early third period goal on a backdoor feed that Pettersson ripped over the glove of Kupsky to give Austin a 3-1 lead. But a minute later, Lone Star capitalized on its first of four third period power plays, when Ludvig Larsson (Malmo, Sweden) flipped a shot past Kielly’s glove to put the Brahmas on the board. Austin’s penalty kill did its job three times after that, as the Bruins hung on to take the first of the best-of-three series. Kielly stopped 16 Brahmas shots in his fourth win of the playoffs.
Game 2 is Saturday at 7:30pm at the NYTEX Sports Center in N. Richland Hills, Texas. Coverage on fasthockey.com and 1480AM KAUS starts at 7:20pm. If Austin wins, the Bruins would advance to the Robertson Cup Finals for the second straight year against either Janesville (WI) or the Minnesota Wilderness. If Lone Star win, the teams would play a deciding Game 3 Sunday at 5:30pm.