by John Peterson
A busy week of three road games in four days for the Austin Bruins (34-17-1) started on a good note Wednesday in Richfield, as the Bruins extended their winning streak to five with a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Magicians (18-27-6).
The Bruins won the puck possession battle in the first period, while outshooting the Magicians 13-6. Austin was unsuccessful on two power-plays in the opening frame, but managed to put some sustained pressure on Minnesota’s defense at even strength. Atte Tolvanen (Vihta, Finland) came up big for the Magicians in turning away the Bruins’ attack in the scoreless period.
Alex Pettersson (Ockero, Sweden) got the scoring started for the Bruins in the second period on a shot from the corner that bounced off a Magician and into the net. It was Pettersson’s second goal of the season. Minnesota tied the game short-handed when Tony Uglem (Moorhead, MN) picked up a burst of speed at center ice and beat Bruins goalie Nick Lehr (Roseville, MN) on a breakaway. After the Magicians’ penalty expired, the Bruins caught Minnesota on a bad line change, and Jay Dickman (Shoreview, MN) found Guillaume Leclerc (Franois, France) for an easy one-timer that capped off a 3-on-0 rush. The goal gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead at the second intermission.
Halfway through the third period, Niko Hildenbrand (Vacaville, CA) scored on a short-handed breakaway to give Austin a 3-1 lead, and shortly thereafter, Casey Jerry (Hudson, WI) deflected a Cory Dunn (Trenton, MI) shot past Tolvanen to put the game out of reach. Nick Lehr stopped 21 shots for his league-leading 30th win of the season, while Tolvanen made 34 saves in the loss.
Tonight, the Bruins’ bus is en route to Minot for a weekend series against the Minotauros. The team will stay in Fargo before continuing on to Minot. Friday and Saturday’s games will start at 7:35pm, with broadcasts on fasthockey.com. Saturday’s game can also be heard on 1480AM KAUS in Austin.