AUSTIN, Minn. — The Austin Bruins scored four consecutive goals over the course of two periods to take down their division rival Bismarck Bobcats, 5-2.
With the season series tied at 1-1, the Bruins welcomed the Bobcats to Riverside arena for the first time this season. Out of the gate the pace was back-and-forth as the team got reacquainted but it was Bismarck who struck first. While on the power play, Luke Gramer blasted a shot from the point that found its way through traffic in front and beat Bruins’ goalie Hudson Hodges for the 1-0 Bobcat lead. Austin battled back to the the game late in the period when Jens Richards whipped a shot from the wall that careened off the arm of Bismarck starter Ian Shane and slipped past the goal line.
In the second, the Bruins turned it on. Giving Austin the 2-1 lead was rookie defensemen Max Ruoho who registered his first NAHL goal off a rocket from the point. The Bruins added to their lead less than a minute later when Reggie Millette, Alex Trombley, and Peter Jacobs connected on a smooth play which resulted in Jacobs ringing the right post and putting the Bruins up 3-1. After the goal, Bismarck goalie Ian Shane was replaced with Tommy Aitken.
Austin got their fourth goal of the night in the third period, their first on Aitken, when Kyle Oleksiuk took a shot from below the goal-line that banked off Aitken’s back and into the net. The Bobcats managed to cut the Bruins lead in half to 4-2 with a redirection goal but it wouldn’t be enough as Austin held firm and tacked on a empty-netter from Garrett Dahm for the 5-2 victory.
Hudson Hodges earned the victory by stopping 25 of 27 shots while Ian Shane was saddled with the loss after stopping nine of 12. His replacement, Tommy Aitken, made six saves on seven total shots. The Bruins moved to 11-20-2-2 with the win while Bismarck slid to 20-14-2-3 after the loss.
The two teams renew their rivalry on Saturday night at Riverside Arena with tickets still available by visiting austinbruins.com.