AUSTIN, MN – Coulee Region scored three times in the 3rd period to break a 2-2 tie and defeat the Bruins by a 5-2 final on New Year's Eve at Riverside Arena. The road team has now won all five of the head-to-head matchups between Austin and the Chill this season.
Coulee scored the only goal of the first period when Justin Kendall broke behind the Bruins' defense and put a puck over Robbie Goor at 1:17. The Bruins tied it up at 6:32 of the 2nd as Zach Kennedy scored for the 2nd game in a row, taking a pass from Jade Miller. Miller would then score one of his own at 7:40 on the powerplay to give Austin a 2-1 lead. Gilbert Gabor had the primary assist. Jacob Paganelli had a secondary helper on both goals. Coulee's Dominik Florian tied the score at two, cashing in a 2-on-1 break at 10:15. The score was 2-2 after two despite a 19-13 shot edge for Austin.
In the 3rd, the Chill went back ahead when Niko Luca caught Goor out out position at 5:30. Isaac Theisen made it 4-2, cashing his own rebound after hitting the crossbar off a Bruins turnover. Caleb Schroer was credited with an empty netter at 16:41 as the Bruins put one into their own net. Coulee's Matiss Kivlenieks was fantastic in goal, stopped 28 shots, including numerous breakways. Goor stopped 14 of 18 in his first losing effort of the season.
The Bruins will play three times next week – Thursday in Cloquet against the Wilderness and then Friday and Saturday at home against Aberdeen.