BROOKINGS, SD – Dan Petrick’s power play goal with 35 seconds remaining in overtime capped an improbable comeback on Wednesday night at Larson Ice Center in the first of three straight head-to-head meetings between the Bruins and Blizzard this week. The Bruins trailed 4-0 with less than half of the second period remaining, but got two in the second, two in the third, and prevailed for the first time this season in the 3-on-3 OT.
The game got off to a shaky start for Austin as the Bruins didn’t register a shot on goal until over seven minutes into the opening period. Brookings forward Derek Hammer gave the Blizzard a 1-0 lead at 11:21 of the first with a wrist shot that beat Mads Sogaard to the stick side. At 17:18 of the period, Vince Marino dangled through the defense and beat Sogaard with a shot off the post and in for a 2-0 Brookings lead. Despite a late power play chance, the Bruins were kept off the board in the first and trailed 2-0 into the intermission.
Things got worse early in the 2nd when Haiden Karnick lifted a loose puck over a sprawling Sogaard, whose attempted pass up the wall had been cut off by Josh Boyer. Boyer himself would make it a 4-0 game at 7:30 of the period when he broke through the middle and ended Sogaard’s night early in his first start since December 2nd. A Jaden Shields slashing penalty would turn out to be a blessing in disguise as the Bruins scored two shorthanded goals to cut into the deficit. The first came at 10:37 when Travis Kothenbeutel set up Garrett Dahm’s first NAHL goal on a 2-on-1. The assist gave Kothenbeutel the all-time Bruins career scoring record with his 120th NAHL point. A bizarre play happened about a minute later when Devon Fields’ clear confused Brookings goaltender Benjamin Beck who let the puck trickle over the goal line and was eventually ruled a good goal after deliberation between the officials and the goal judge. The Bruins trailed 4-2 entering the third period.
Evan Cholak scored just over a minute into the third to make it a one-goal game, rushing up the left wing side and lifting a sharp-angle shot past Beck. The Bruins then killed off two penalties with the help of Alex Schilling and got the game even at 12:23 when Lane Krenzen set up Dante Zapata for a one-timer. Schilling’s performance was stellar, as he stopped all 18 shots he faced after relieving Sogaard. The game went into overtime tied at four.
The teams traded chances for the first three-and-a-half minutes of 3-on-3 until Brendan Aird took a tripping penalty to give the Bruins a man-advantage. As the clock ticked down to 35 seconds left, Dante Sheriff spotted Dan Petrick between the circles for the game-winning wrister.
The win was the Bruins’ third straight and the Blizzard’s fifth loss in a row. Austin is back in sole possession of second place and just one point behind division-leading Aberdeen. The Bruins and Blizzard play twice more over the weekend – Friday night at Riverside Arena and Saturday back at Larson Ice Center – both games beginning at 7:05 PM.