AUSTIN, Minn. – The Bruins got a two-point night from forward Ben Almquist and outlasted the Minotauros 2-1, ending Minot’s five-game win streak and giving Austin sole possession of second place in the NAHL Central Division.
Out of the gate the Bruins controlled the pace of play, not allowing a Minot shot on goal until well after eight minutes of play. Their relentless offensive pressure came to fruition when one of the newest Bruins, Ben Almquist, found the back of the net to give the Bruins the lead 1-0 in the first. Neither team would get on the board in the first and Autin outshot Minot 16-4 in the opening frame.
In the second, Minot settled down and controlled an equal amount of the ice. The ‘Tauros would tie things up halfway through the middle frame when a loose puck was poked through the legs of Kyle McClellan who was recovering from making an initial save. Cole O’Connell was credited with the goal, his fourth of the season, and made thing 1-1.
In the third, Austin resumed their first-period form and got the lead back. Hugh Larkin took a pass from Almquist and squeaked the puck through a maze of bodies and past Minot goalie Nicholas Grabko for the 2-1 Austin lead.
The Bruins found of Minot’s late extra-attacker attempt and held on for the victory, 2-1. Austin managed to kill all five penalties they took on the night going 5-for-5 on the PK while Minot was also successful on both of their penalty kill chances. Kyle McClellan made 15 saves on 16 shots while earning the win, with Nicholas Grabko stopped 34 of 36 Bruins attempts earning the loss.
With the win, the Bruins move to 24-14-0-6 on the season, good enough for sole possession of second place in the NAHL Central Division. Minot’s loss puts them to 26-18-1-0 on the year as they slide to third place.
The two teams will meet for an encore at Riverside Arena on Saturday, the final meeting between the two clubs during this regular season. Tickets for Saturday night’s game are on sale NOW at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.