BROOKINGS, SD – In a frustrating game in which the Bruins played well enough to win, Evan Cholak’s two goal effort wasn’t enough as Brookings skated away with a 4-2 win on Friday night at Larson Ice Center in the first of a two game weekend series.
The opening period was highlighted by goaltending as Benjamin Beck stopped 11 Bruins shots while Alex Schilling went 9 for 9 in a scoreless frame. Brookings scored early in the second when Doug Larson zipped a pass to Josh Boyer in the slot for a power play goal and a 1-0 Blizzard lead at 1:23. The Bruins flipped the switch and dominated the remainder of the period, finally getting even with under five minutes to play. Evan Cholak scored a highlight reel goal, taking the puck down the right wing and stashing a backhand wraparound to tie the game at one. It was also a power play goal and an assist was given to Sviatoslov Kuchysnki. The turning point goal game with 43 seconds left in the period when the Bruins had a defensive mix-up, leading to a 2-on-0 break and an easy goal by Jimmy Elser, fed by Vince Marino. The Blizzard led 2-1 at the end of two periods.
The Bruins missed several opportunities to tie the game in the 3rd and Brookings added insurance with yet another power play goal at 16:22 from Andriy Denyskin, who has totaled four goals this week after a hat trick on Wednesday afternoon. The Bruins were able to cut the deficit back to one when Justin Brandt connected with Cholak at 18:49, but Marino scored an empty netter 46 seconds later to seal the game at a 4-2 final.
The Bruins outshot Brookings 34-28 but fell to 0-3-1 when winning the shot battle. The two teams will complete the weekend with their fifth head-to-head game in October on Saturday night at 7:05.