BISMARCK, N.D. – The Bruins strong second period wasn’t enough to outlast the Bismarck Bobcats who shut down Austin, 5-2 on Friday night.
For the first game of the season between the two clubs, the opening twenty minutes were mostly spent with the team’s feeling each other out. Austin controlled the pace of play in the early going, outshooting the Bobcats through the first several minutes. Despite their efforts, it was Bismarck who got on the board first. Ethan Guer was able to slip a slow roller past Bruins netminder Tyler Shea for the 1-0 Bobcats’ lead at the 11:47 mark of the first period. The teams continued to battle throughout the opening frame, but neither netminder would break and the clubs headed to their respective locker rooms with Bismarck out in front, 1-0.
In the second period, the Bruins turned on the jets. With Hugh Larkin sitting in the box with only seconds remaining on his penalty, Tyler Shea made a sprawling save going post-to-post. Following the save, the puck was cleared out to center onto the stick of Larkin whos was fresh out of the box. On the mini breakaway, Larkin rifled a wrist-shot past Bobcats goalie Ryan Ullan to tie the game at 1-1. Minutes later, on a power-play of their own, Carson Riddle gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead when his centering pass careened off a sliding Bobcat defender and past Ullan.
That would be the final goal of the night for the Bruins as Bismarck came roaring back. Austin held their lead for less than a minute before Bismarck re-tied the game at 2-2.
Later in the period, Grant Johnson beat Tyler Shea with a low, sliding shot that slipped past the outstretched leg of the Bruins netminder.
Austin attempted to mount a comeback in the third period, but two more Bismarck goals including Will Hillman’s league-leading tenth goal of the season which sealed the game for Bismarck, 5-2.
The Bruins and Bobcats are back at it on Saturday night from VFW Sports Center in Bismarck. Following the Bruins two-game set with the Bobcats, the Bruins welcome the Minnesota Wilderness to Riverside arena for a home game on Wednesday, October 23. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 at Riverside Arena on Wednesday with tickets on sale now at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.