AUSTIN, Minn. – Three power-play goals from Carson Riddle helped the Bruins snap their losing streak as they took down the Wilderness, 4-2, on Thursday night.
The Bruins opened up the night on the offensive outshooting the Wilderness 5-0 in the games’ opening minutes and their hard work paid off. While on the power-play, Carson Riddle scored his first goal of the game when a redirected shot landed on his tape and he fired it into the yawning cage. That would be the period’s only goal and the Bruins walked into the locker room with the 1-0 lead.
Out of the gate in the first period, Minnesota evened things up when Josh Bolin found a loose puck in the crease, and despite falling bodies, tons of sticks, and all kinds of blue-paint activity, managed to push the puck over the line to make things 1-1. Later in the second, Austin regained their lead when Reggie Millette netted his sixth goal of the season. The American International commit walked into the Wilderness zone along the left-wing wall and while moving around the defender, lost the handle on the puck but managed to regain control and fire a shot past Kaleb Johnson for the 2-1 Bruins lead. The Bruins jumped out to a two-goal lead when Riddle fired home his second power-play goal of the night taking the Bruins up to 3-1. Despite the strong period, the Bruins faltered late in the second when the Wilderness and forward Mikol Sartor scored with one-tenth of a second remaining in the second period. With the puck behind the goal line, Minnesota pressured the Bruins and forced a turnover which came out front allowing Sartor a Grade-A chance on goal in which he beat Tyler Shea. After the shock of the last-second goal, the Bruins recollected themselves knowing they still held the lead 3-2.
In the third, the Bruins ratcheted up the offensive pressure. The Wilderness, who were the least penalized team in the division coming in, were called for their fifth penalty of the night when Evan Bushy was flagged for holding. Austin made their division rivals pay when Riddle went short-side top-shelf on Johnson and found some daylight for his third goal of the night. It would prove to be the final tally as Austin controlled the remainder of the game and knocked off the Wilderness 4-2 in the season-series finale.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 10-19-2-2 on the season and snapped their five-game losing streak while the Wilderness fell to 12-15-1-1 and have dropped their lost four straight. Tyler Shea earned the victory in goal for the Bruins turning aside 24of the 26shots he faced while Kaleb Johnson was handed the loss after turning aside 28 of 32 Bruins chances.
Up next for the Bruins, they enjoy a weekend off before heading up to St. Cloud on Wednesday, March 17 to take on the Norsemen for the second time this season. Following their battle with St. Cloud, the Bruins return home for a pair of games against the Bismarck Bobcats on March 19 and 20 at Riverside Arena. Tickets for next weekend’s game are on sale now by visiting www.austinbruins.com/single-game-tickets.