Photo credit: Eric Johnson, Austin Daily Herald
AUSTIN, MN – Keenan Lund capped off a three minute stretch of wide-open hockey in an otherwise defensive-minded game with a goal at 10:20 of the second period – and it turned out to be the difference on Friday night in game one of the 2018 Central Division Championship series between the Bruins and Minotauros.
The opening period saw very little offense, and only nine combined shots – six of which were credited to the Bruins. A late penalty by Jaden Shields carried over into the second period, but the game was scoreless through 20 minutes.
Soon after the Bruins completed the penalty kill, Minot grabbed the lead. Keenan Lund found Michael Talbot, who patiently sold Alex Schilling on a shot, which was actually a pass to Austin Koss, streaking down the slot and tipping the puck into a wide open net. The goal came just 1:37 into the second period. At 7:24, the Bruins got even, when Travis Kothenbeutel’s set up for Evan Cholak came right back to him and he blasted the loose puck past ‘Tauro netminder Samu Lonkila. Riley Doyon picked up a secondary assist on the goal. Kothenbeutel’s goal briefly shifted the style of the game, as the teams began trading chances off the rush. With the help of Brian Adams, Lund dug a puck off the wall and rushed to the net, beating Bruins goaltender Alex Schilling at 10:20 to put Minot back ahead. 2-1 was the score after two.
At 6:52 of the third period, Minot got insurance when Grant Loven was left alone on the doorstep of the goal crease and Miroslav Mucha found him to make it 3-1. An Alex Adams empty net goal at 17:24 sealed the victory. Lonkila turned aside 23 of 24 while Schilling stopped 18 of 21. The Bruins look to even the series on Saturday night in game two at Riverside Arena. The puck drops at 7:05 PM.