AUSTIN, Minn. – The Bruins brought themselves closer to clinching a playoff spot with a big mid-week win against the Minnesota Wilderness at Riverside Arena, 3-1.
Most of the game was played tightly, with little room to move, but Austin took advantage of their fortunate bounces. The Bruins got on the board first halfway through the first period when Dante Sheriff rifled a shot on goal. Wilderness goalie Ryan Fanti made the initial save off his shoulder but the puck ricocheted off the crossbar and right onto the stick of Jared Christy. Christy made sure to bury the puck in the net, his twentieth of the season, and the Bruins held the lead 1-0. The Bruins didn’t own the lead for very long as the Wilderness added a tally of their own off the stick of Ondrej Trejbal.
In the second period, it took over seventeen minutes for the tie to be broken, but once again it was the Austin Bruins who took the lead when Ben Almquist redirected a Jed Pietila shot from the point past Fanti giving Austin the 2-1 lead.
The Bruins added a late third-period, empty netter, courtesy of Hugh Larkin and walked out of Riverside Arena on Wednesday night with the 3-1 victory. The win helped the Bruins improve to 29-16-0-6 on the season and cut their magic number down to 4 standings points. With the loss, the Wilderness slipped to 23-24-3-2 on the year.
The Bruins get right back to work this week with a home-and-home series against the Brookings Blizzard starting off Friday night in South Dakota. Austin returns to Riverside Arena on Saturday, March 16 for Pacelli Night. The team will be auctioning off a custom, one-of-a-kind Bruiser Pacelli jersey with proceeds benefitting Pacelli Schools. Fans can also help donate to Pacelli by purchasing a Pacelli pack which includes a Bruins/Pacelli T-Shirt and a ticket to Saturday’s game as well as a ticket to a future game for $25 with $15 being donated back to the school. Pacelli Packages are available at the school while single-game tickets can be had at any of the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.