MINOT, N.D. – With the playoff picture getting increasingly tight in the NAHL Central Division, the Austin Bruins earned a crucial two points on Saturday night taking down the Minot Minotauros, 4-2.
For the second night in a row, the ‘Tauros got on the board first scoring just over four minutes into the opening period. The goal would be the only Minot tally until the final two minutes of the game. Austin didn’t waste much time retaliating and evened the score midway through the first period. Jens Richards and Braidan Simmons-Fischer teamed up on a hard-work style goal pounding in a close proximity goal to bring the score to 1-1. That would be all the scoring in the first period and the teams headed to the locker room in a tie.
Out of the gate in the second period, the Bruins took their first lead of the weekend. Reggie Millette stood at the right-wing point and ripped a wrist shot that was expertly tipped in front by Bruins forward Mason Poolman boosting the Bruins to a 2-1 lead. Later in the period, Millette got a goal of his one when he streaked in on a three-on-one and opted to pull the trigger himself. The American International commits shot rifled past Minot netminder Carter Clafton, ringing off the far right post and crossing the goal line. Now with the lead 3-1, the Bruins took to the intermission with the lead for the third time this season against the Minotauros, looking for their first win.
In the third, Austin increased their lead to 4-1 when Carson Riddle netted his third short-handed goal of the season. For Richards, Millette, and Riddle, each play netted goals in both games against the Minotauros this season. Minot managed to tack on a second goal late in the game, with just 1:10 left in the game, to pull closer but they couldn’t find any more as the Bruins took the win.
Hudson Hodges earned the victory in goal for the black-and-gold stopping 33 of 35 shots that Minot fired his way while Clafton was handed the loss stopping 25 of 29. With the win, the Bruins improve to 16-25-4-2 on the season while the ‘Tauros fall to 22-20-5-1.
Up next for the Bruins, they travel to Richfield, MN, on Thursday, April 22, to take on the Magicians for the third time this season. After that, the Bruins return to Riverside Arena on Friday, April 23 to play host to Minnesota to complete the home-and-home series. Tickets for that game, as well as all the remaining Austin Bruins home games at www.austinbruins.com/single-game-tickets.