AUSTIN, Minn. – After downing the Bobcats in shutout fashion on Friday night, it was the Bruins on the losing end of the two-game series, with Bismarck taking home the 6-2 lead to finish out the regular season.
Austin and Bismarck took to the ice on Saturday with the third seed in the NAHL Central Division on the line. It was the visiting Bobcats who jumped on the scoreboard first just 3:20 into the game. George Grannis netted his fifth goal of the season to lift Bismarck to a 1-0 lead. The Bruins didn’t wait long to respond, it was less just over two minutes later when Kyle Herbster sprung Jared Christy free on a mini-breakaway where Christy slid the puck between the legs of Bismarck goalie John Roberts to tie the game at 1-1. After the goal, it was all downhill for the Bruins who saw the Bobcats rack up three more goals and both teams headed to the locker room after one period of play with Bismarck in firm control of a 4-1 lead.
In the second period, Head Coach Steve Howard opted for a goalie change, placing Tyler Shea between the pipes in place of Kyle McClellan. Getting into his first NAHL game, the goaltender was able to keep the Bobcats off the board in the second while his offense got to work. Reggie Millette sped into the zone up the left wing sliding through a check and skating toward the net. The speedster was able to cut across the crease and slid the puck past a sprawled out Roberts, bringing the Bobcats’ lead down to 4-2.
The Bruins couldn’t muster any more offense for the rest of the game and surrendered two more goals to Bismarck. Daniel Chladek netted his second goal of the night burying home a two-on-one chance, while Andy Stoneman split the Bruins defense and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Shea to finish out the night’s scoring with the Bobcats overtaking the Bruins 6-2.
While the regular season has wrapped up, the postseason is right around the corner. WIth the Bruins loss, they’ve taken the fourth seed in the NAHL Central division and will open up on the road taking on the Aberdeen Wings. The Bruins will return to Riverside Arena for game three of the first round, with the possibility of hosting game four if necessary. The date and time of those games is to be determined and will be released at a later date once both teams have agreed on a schedule. Once dates are made available, tickets for the Bruins home games will be on sale at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.