AUSTIN, MN – The Bruins took the season series from the Coulee Region Chill, by earning three points over the weekend in a home-and-home series. The Bruins defeated the Chill 5-2 at Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse on Friday before the Chill claimed a 6-5 overtime win on Saturday night at Riverside Arena.
On Friday, the line of Michael Piehler, Jan Stefka, and Evan Cholak dominated the first period, all scoring goals as the Bruins got out to a 3-1 lead. Pieher set the tone at 1:07 when a tip on the doorstep. After Coulee’s Justin Kendall tied the game at 10:30, Stefka and Cholak scored back-to-back in a span of 30 seconds at 14:04 and 14:34. All three forwards would finish the game with three points each.
The Bruins went up 4-1 at 3:22 of the second period when Jason Koehn split a pair of Chill defenders on a stretch pass from Jaden Shields and ripped off a perfect shot past Chill goalie Brad Arvanitis. Steven Quagliata scored late in the period to make it a 4-2 game heading into the third. Justin Misiak sealed the deal with an empty netter at 18:32 of the final frame. Jake Kucharski was fantastic, stopping 39 of 41 Coulee shots.
On Saturday, the Bruins got out to a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first period. Justin Misiak netted an early power play goal, followed by Quinn Martin’s first NAHL goal on a great pass from Kevin Fellows, making his Junior hockey debut. The Chill then stormed back with three straight in just under two minutes when Joey Sofo, Jackson Decker, and Matt Doran all cashed in. Coulee led 3-2 at the end of one period.
Evan Cholak scored a highlight-reel goal at 7:19 of the second, deking Chill netminder Joe Marcoullier and slipping a wraparound in to tie the game at three. Coulee once against had the answer though with late goals from Alex Falconer and Sofo for a 5-3 lead heading to the third.
Cole Lawrence drove the net and brought it back to a one goal game just nine seconds into the third, but it wasn’t until the final minute until the Bruins got even. Shorthanded, the Bruins pulled their goaltender and Kyle Looft was able to slip a shot just inside the post off a back-boards carom from Toby Sengvongxay to even the score at five. Jaden Shields was called for high-sticking in overtime, leading to Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup’s game-winning goal, a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Marcoullier went 39/44 for the win.
The Bruins finish out the regular season with four games in North Dakota starting this weekend in Minot, Friday and Saturday night at 7:35.