AUSTIN, Minn. – Carson Riddle netted two goals in the third period, but the Bruins couldn’t get the victory, falling 3-2 to Minot.
In the first matchup of the season between the two teams, the Bruins found themselves in a hole to start things off. After a back-and-forth opening frame, which included a delayed stoppage for a net issue and multiple icings and offsides for both teams, Minot managed to crack the scoreless tie with 3:03 left to go in the period. Leading goal-getter for the ‘Tauros, Damon Zimmer, netted his seventh goal of the season when he walked up the left-wing boards and ripped a shot past Tyler Shea for the game’s first goal.
In the second period, the Bruins started hot but couldn’t solve netminder Keenan Rancier. The teams would play for over 15 minutes before Austin surrendered their second goal of the night. Kaiden Scott, who assisted on the game’s first goal, managed to get a 0:)spinning shot on goal which rebounded off the pads of Tyler Shea and right on the stick of Cade Stibbe, who tallied his first goal of the night and increasing the ‘Tauros lead to 2-0.
As for the third period, that’s when the Bruins took over, and special teams played the largest part. With Akhmed Malsagov sitting in the box for checking from behind, Austin went on the Kris Heichel Team Fairway Mortgage Penalty Kill for the third time on the evening. Following a block at center ice off the shins of Barrett Brooks, the Western Michigan commit walked up the right wing boards in a 2-on-1 with fellow future-Bronco Carson Riddle racing up the left wing side. Brooks lopped a shot on goal which ricocheted off the pads of Rancier and right to Riddle who made no mistake and pounded in the Bruins first goal of the game, shortanded. With the game now at 2-1 in favor of Minot, and the Bruins still down a man on the penalty-kill, another 2-on-1 developed and another Carson Riddle goal was the result. It wasn’t deja vu, exactly, as Riddle began the 2-on-1 with possession, this time on the right wings boards with defenseman Ben Dexheimer speeding up the left side. As he walked in, Riddle saw some daylight and ripped a shot past Rancier to even the game at 2-2 midway through the third. The shorthanded goals, scored only 1:16 apart, were the first two of the season for the Bruins, were the first two of Carson Riddle’s NAHL career, and tied the Bruins shorthanded goal total from the 2019-20 season. As the teams battled through the third, Austin was forced to kill off one final penalty and did so successfully. The clock struck 0:00 in regulation and overtime was needed to find a winner.
In the 3-on-3 frame, the Bruins owned possession of the puck from the get-go but the game-winner would come off the stick of a Minotauro. Racing into their own offensive zone, a turnover by Kyle Oleksiuk at the blue-line sprung Stibbe free for a break-away. The second-year toro came into the right wing circle, cut to the front of the net, and the righty went forehand to backhand shoveling a shot over the outstretched leg of Shea for the game winner.
With the loss, the Bruins fell to 3-3-2-0 on the season, having earned points in 5 of their first eight games this season. For Minot, they improve to 6-3-2-1 on the year. By virtue of earning the single standing point, and a Bismarck Bobcats loss to the Aberdeen Wings, the Bruins managed to pull into a tie for third place in the NAHL Central Division.
Carson Riddle’s multi-goal night was the fourth of the season for the Bruins, following Jens Richards, Walter Zacher, and Peter Jacobs. Austin went scoreless on the Chad Thomas Thrivent Financial Powerplay, 0-2, but their penalty was perfect on the night, killing off 4-of-4. The ‘Tauros outshot the Bruins by a narrow margin of 37-34, meaning Keenan Rancier was good on 32 of the 34 shots he faced to earn the win while Tyler Shea stopped 34 of 37 in the losing effort.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in a rematch at Maysa Arena. Puck drop comes your way at 7:05 with the broadcast on HockeyTV and Power96 beginning at 6:55.
— Box Score —
Austin Bruins 2 at Minot Minotauros 3 (OT) – Status: Final OT
Friday, December 4, 2020 – Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena
Austin 0 0 2 0 – 2
Minot 1 1 0 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Minot, Zimmer 7 (Scott, Bogenhom), 16:57. Penalties-Olson Aus (slashing-minor), 10:33.
2nd Period-2, Minot, Stibbe 2 (Scott), 15:45. Penalties-Rush Aus (holding-minor), 6:21; Petersen Mnt (tripping-minor), 12:05.
3rd Period-3, Austin, Riddle 1 (Brooks), 8:57 (SH). 4, Austin, Riddle 2 10:13 (SH). Penalties-Malsagov Aus (checking from behind-minor), 8:26; Petersen Mnt (roughing-minor), 11:50; Malsagov Aus (charging-minor), 14:42.
OT Period-5, Minot, Stibbe 3 2:43. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Austin 16-8-10-1-35. Minot 13-15-9-3-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Austin 0 / 2; Minot 0 / 4.
Goalies-Austin, Shea 3-1-2-0 (40 shots-37 saves). Minot, Rancier 6-3-1-1 (35 shots-33 saves).
Linesmen-Ben Gawlik, Reilly Hickey.