BLAINE, MN – The Bruins erased a two-goal third period deficit to force OT, but ultimately fell in a shootout, by a final score of 4-3 to the Springfield Jr. Blues on Saturday afternoon in the final day of the NAHL Showcase.
The Bruins led for most of the first period, taking a 1-0 lead at 8:08 on a Lane Krenzen power play goal, the first of his NAHL career. Seth Bacon and Travis Kothenbeutel set up Krenzen’s shot from the center of the zone through a screen past goaltender Juraj Ovecka. At 18:26, Jordan Muzzillo tied the game, scoring off the rush on a rebound let loose by Bruins netminder Owen Zdunski. The Bruins were outshot 13-9 in the first period, which ended tied at one.
The second period got off to an ominous start when Ethan Stewart finished off a pretty passing play just 1:54 in, giving Springfield its first lead. At 4:12, Seth Bacon took a major penalty for boarding and was assessed a game misconduct, giving the Jr. Blues a five minute power play, on which they capitalized to make it 3-1 on a perfect shot from defenseman Fletcher Fineman at 7:28. Springfield led 3-1 at the end of two periods.
The Bruins responded in the third, dominating possession but remaining stifled by Ovecka until scoring another power play goal at 12:32, a rebound scooped up by Evan Cholak to the left of the Springfield netminder. Krenzen had the lone helper. In a tough spot in the final minute, the Bruins found themselves on a penalty kill until about 20 seconds remaining when they were able to get a 6-on-5 with their goaltender pulled and Justin Brandt tipped home Travis Kothenbeutel’s shot with nine seconds remaining to get the game even. Krenzen notched his third point of the game with the secondary helper. In total, the Bruins put 19 shots on goal in the third.
After a scoreless 3-on-3 overtime, the goaltenders controlled the first four rounds of the shootout, until Aiden Beck out-deked Zdunski in round five for the game winner. Brandt, Cholak, Kothenbeutel, Xander Lamppa, and Garrett Dahm were all denied by Ovecka in the shootout. The Bruins fell to 0-1-1 on the season and look ahead to their home opener on Saturday night against the Minnesota Wilderness at 7:05. General admission tickets go on sale Monday at Hy Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn, for the discounted price of $11/adult and $8/student & senior.