Bruins fall short in season opener

BISMARCK, ND – Three Bobcats scored two goals each while another racked up five assists in a 6-3 Bismarck victory on opening night at the V.F.W. Sports Center over the Austin Bruins.

It was the Bruins who opened the scoring at 6:34 of the opening period when Gilbert Gabor outskated Johnny Witzke behind the Bismarck net and slipped a pass out to Rochester, MN native Logan Haskins who fired it past Bobcat netminder Hunter Sheppard. That was one of ony two credited first period shots by the Bruins. In spite of that, they nearly took the lead into the intermission, but Travis Wood's deflection on a Pieter Von Steinbergs offering tied the game with just 15 seconds to play.

The Bobcats dominated the second period, getting two goals from Aaron Herdt with a powerplay tally from Harrison Aide in between. The latter two goals both came in the final 2:45 of the second period and Bismarck took a 4-1 lead into the 2nd intermission.

Austin put together a comeback effort early in the third when Griffin Slightam buried his own rebound at 2:38 and then Jan Stefka ripped a hard slap shot home at 6:33 but a costly penalty by AJ Drobot led to Aide's second goal of the night at 9:03 to make the score 5-3 Bismarck. Wood capped off his night with an empty net goal at 19:24. Veteran forward Willie Brown added five assists in the game. Paul O'Connor, AJ Drobot, Justin Misiak, and Austin Rueschhoff all notched assists for the Bruins.

Sheppard stopped 20 of 23 shots for the win while it was Jacob Berger getting the loss, making 25 saves on 30 shots.

The Bruins and Bobcats will wrap up their opening weekend series on Saturday night at 7:15 at VFW Sports Center. Fans can watch the game live on or at B&J Bar and Grill at 114 4th Ave NE in Austin. Updates will be provided on Twitter @theaustinbruins.