MINOT, ND – Leading 2-0 with under four minutes remaining in regulation, the Bruins allowed two late goals and ultimately dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Minot Minotauros on Friday night.
With a chance to clinch a playoff spot, the Bruins jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Devon Fields got a piece of Travis Kothenbeutel’s power play drive at 6:37 of the opening period. The Bruins played a strong first, with 17 shots, but the lead remained 1-0 at the buzzer.
Minot controlled the second period, but was stifled by Mads Sogaard, who continued his domination of the ‘Tauros, extending a personal shutout streak to five periods against Minot. The Bruins also killed three penalties in the middle frame and maintained their 1-0 lead.
At 1:37 of the third, the Bruins struck with the power play once again, with Fields providing another screen, this time on a shot by Evan Cholak. Fields got a piece of Cholak’s shot, making it six points in three games for the defenseman – three on the power play. The Bruins appeared to have the game in hand, but Minot came out in the final minutes and shortly after a Colby Enns crossbar, Ryan Green broke through, jamming a puck past Sogaard at the short-side goal post. The ‘Tauros continued the pressure, prompting a Bruins timeout. With just over 90 seconds remaining, Keenan Lund redirected a long shot from Enns with the Minot goaltender pulled to tie the game at two.
With each team having gained a critical point, it was Minot that got the extra one when Michael Talbot was able to out-skate Dan Petrick and force a shot past Sogaard at 2:27 of 3-on-3 OT to end the game. It was Minot’s sixth straight home win and their season-high fourth in a row overall. ‘Tauro netminder Nick Grabko stopped 34 to earn his third win while Sogaard turned aside 35 in the loss.
Bismarck fell to the Wilderness, tightening the gap between second and third place to five points, but the Bruins saw their “magic number” fall to just one. A win or OT loss on Saturday night will clinch a playoff spot for Austin, as would a Bismarck loss. The puck drops at 7:35 from Maysa Arena for the season series finale. The game will stream live in HD on HockeyTV (AWAY AUDIO) as well as on the radio airwaves of AM 1480 KAUS, myaustinminnesota.com, and the iHeart Radio App.