AUSTIN, Minn. – Despite two goals from Jens Richards and 44 saves from Hudson Hodges in his NAHL debut, the Bruins couldn’t topple the Wings and dropped Saturday night’s contest 3-2.
For the second straight night, it was Aberdeen who jumped out to the early lead, something they’ve done in 11 of their first 12 games this season. Defenseman Kevin MacKay registered his first goal of the season when he beat Bruins netminder Hudson Hodges for the 1-0 lead midway through the first.
In the second, Aberdeen found the back of the net again when Spencer Schneider scored on the power-play. It was the second time in back-to-back nights that the Bruins penalty kill allowed a goal but still managed to go 10-for-12 on the weekend. The Bruins continued to battle but couldn’t break netminder Jake Sibell.
The Wings increased their lead to 3-0 in the third period when a Natan Vertes snipe slipped past Hodges. The goal was Vertes’ eighth of the season, good enough to lead the NAHL. Austin bent but didn’t break and began to mount their comeback. While on a power-play of their own, the Bruins snapped their 0-for-21 streak of man-advantages without a goal. Travis Shoudy ripped a shot from the center-point which was deflected in front by Jens Richards getting Austin on the board, 3-1. The goal for Richards was the first in his NAHL career and it wouldn’t be his only one. Later in the period, in a near carbon copy, Richards scored his second goal of the game when he tipped a Shoudy shot past Sibell and pulled the Bruins within one at 3-2 with 1:41 left to go in the game.
Despite the extra-attacker, the Bruins couldn’t complete the comeback and fell in back-to-back nights to the Wings. With the loss, the Bruins slipped to 3-3-1-0 while the Wings stretched their winning streak to 12 consecutive games. Hudson Hodges stood tall for the Bruins turning aside 44 of the 47 shots the Wings hurled at him, while the games’ winning netminder, Sibell, was good on 15 of 17 Bruins shots.
Up next for the black-and-gold, they head to North Dakota for a weekend series against the Minot Minotauros on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5.