BLAINE, MN – An early three goal deficit proved to be too much for the Bruins on Wednesday night in their season opener against the Topeka RoadRunners. Despite battling back to pull within a single goal on two occasions, they dropped the first game of the NAHL Showcase, 5-4.
Despite a 14-5 shot advantage in the opening period, the Bruins found themselves behind 3-0 thanks to a shorthanded tally by Andrew Hart followed by a pair of Jeff Makowski goals. Makowski scored first at even strength, then notched a powerplay goal, both coming between the 10:53 and 11:37 marks of the first. Robbie Goor, who started between the pipes was pulled for Jake Kucharski following the 3rd goal.
The Bruins would get on the board at 7:06 of the 2nd when Jan Stefka was able to pick a spot between the post and Topeka netminder Ryan Snowden. It would be less than a minute, however for Topeka to respond when Makowski finished the hat trick, tipping a loose puck behind Kucharski. Austin would get two special teams goals – AJ Drobot on the power play and Travis Kothenbeutel shorthanded to make it a 4-3 score. The dagger came late in the period when Marshall Bowery scored at 18:19 to make it 5-3 RoadRunners through two.
The Bruins struck quickly in the third when Danny Petrick got a power play goal less than two minutes in, but Topeka held on the remainder of the frame. Snowden made 43 saves for the win as the Bruins heavily outshot Topeka, 47-27.
The NAHL Showcase continues on Thursday as the Bruins take on the defending Robertson Cup champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs (4-0-0) at 1:15 PM. The game can be found on FASTHockey.com as well as AM 1480 KAUS and myaustinminnesota.com for radio feeds.