MINOT N.D. – Despite taking a two-goal lead early in the first period, the Bruins weren’t able to top the Minot Minotauros on Saturday night, dropping the contest 5-4.
Much like on Friday night, the Bruins wasted no time starting the scoring. For the second night in a row, the Bruins scored the game’s first goal under three minutes after opening puck drop, but on Friday it was Kevin Gabor who put the puck in the net. With possession, Dante Sheriff laid a perfect pass on the tape of Gabor who was all alone at the goalmouth and gave the Bruins the 1-0 lead. Nearly five minutes later, Austin increased their lead to 2-0 when Sheriff, on a nearly identical play, passed the puck from behind the net to Tiernan Shoudy who was stationed in front who slipped one under the arm of Garrity.
Austin held their lead until the end of the period, but the second period proved to be difficult waters. The Minotauros made some adjustments at the intermission and managed to score the next four goals, all in the second period. Now trailing 4-2, the Bruins pulled goaltender Zach Hansen in favor of Brett Miller and began to work their way back into the game. After a scrum, the Bruins were awarded a powerplay opportunity and made sure to cash in. Hugh Larkin scored his sixth goal of the season off the third assist from Sheriff on the night, and the Bruins pulled within one 4-3.
Out of the second intermission, much like Friday night, the Bruins were able to tie the game early in the third period. Hugh Larkin broke into the zone and fed Ben Almquist who was two went strides ahead of the play. Almquist went glove size and rang two posts before the puck crossed the line, evening things at 4-4.
Despite the teamwork it took to battle back into the game, the Bruins ultimately feel when Braden Bartoo netted his second goal of the game to give Minot the 5-4 lead, and ultimately the win.
With the loss, the Bruins split the weekend with their central division rivals and fell to 6-6-1-2 on the season. For Minot, they improved to 8-1-1-2 on the season and have earned at least a point in 11 of their first 12 games this season.
Austin’s next games come against the Minnesota Magicians as part of a home-and-home series. On Friday, the Bruins and Magicians will play in Richfield before returning to Austin on Saturday, November 2 for the rematch. Tickets for Saturday night’s game go on sale Monday, October 28 at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.