CLOQUET, MN – After an off-beat game on Friday night against the Minnesota Wilderness at Riverside Arena, the Bruins couldn’t bounce back on Saturday and found themselves without a point this weekend as they head into holiday break off a 4-2 road loss.
The Bruins were kept off the board for the fourth period in a row when the Wilderness scored the only two goals of the opening frame. Defeneman Ondrej Trejbal ripped a blast off the crossbar and in at 13:18 to open the scoring. A defensive breakdown allowed Nicholas Michel a free shot right in front of Alex Schilling at 17:32 for the second goal.
Late in the 2nd period, a strong play by Dante Sheriff set up Travis Kothenbeutel for his 10th goal of the season to get the Bruins back into the game. Kothenbeutel tied Justin Misiak for fourth all-time in Bruins history with career goal #42. The Bruins lost any momentum right away however, when Seth Bacon went to the penalty box and Isaac Kobienia scored his third goal of the weekend on the power play to restore the Wilderness’ two-goal lead.
Up 3-1 in the third, the Wilderness put the game out of reach early when Kosta Likourezos found an opening in the low slot and beat Schilling. Jaden Shields scored a shorthanded goal late, but the Bruins wouldn’t get any closer. Garrett Dahm picked up his first NAHL point with the primary assist on Shields’ goal. Schilling played a strong game again, with 34 saves. Ryan Fanti was the winning goaltender with 21 stops.
With Aberdeen’s lost to Minot, the Bruins remain in first place, but the entire Central Division is separated by just four points from top to bottom. The NAHL is off next weekend before the Bruins and Wilderness resume their series on Friday, December 29th at 7:05 in Austin. It’s “Salute to Public Service” sponsored by AM 1480 KAUS – free admission to all public servants in uniform (police, fire, EMT, etc). The first 50 to RSVP to the Bruins office will receive a spot in the Papa Murphy’s Bear Den.