AUSTIN, Minn. – Despite getting three-times as many shots, the Bruins could not solve Blizzard goaltender George McBey as Brookings took the 4-1 win on Riverside Ice.
After clinching their post-season spot on Friday night, the Bruins got off to a slow start on Saturday allowing the first goal less than six minutes into the first period. Brookings defenseman Brock Draeger walked into the left-wing circle and fired a shot over Kyle McClellan’s blocker arm.
Despite peppering McBey with 33 shots after two periods, Austin couldn’t solve the Texas native and both teams went into the locker rooms after two with the score still 1-0 Brookings.
In the third Brookings increased their 2-0 lead with a goal from Gabe Whal moments after the Bruins killed their first penalty of the night. Despite the deficit, Austin was able to fight back and cut the score in half with Ben Almquist’s eighth goal of the season, but it proved to be too little, too late. Down a goal, and on the penalty kill in the final two minutes, the Bruins opted to pull McClellan. In the process of skating to the bench, the Blizzard got a fortunate bounce in the form of a blocked shot and were able to rush into the Bruins zone. McClellan was able to get back to his crease, but could not get set as the Blizzard buried their third goal of the game to ice the victory. They’d tack on another empty netter with under a minute to play to truly seal the game’s fate. Final score, 4-1 in favor of the Blizzard.
The Bruins managed to rifle 45 shots on McBey who turned aside all but one recording 44 saves in the winning effort. Kyle McClellan was good on 10 of 13 in the loss. For the Bruins, they fall to 30-17-0-6 on the season and remain in third place in the NAHL Central division. Brookings, the division’s last-place team, improves to 10-39-3-1 after the win.
After back-to-back games against the Bismarck Bobcats and Aberdeen Wings, with a make-up game against the Blizzard thrown in, the Bruins return to Riverside Arena on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 to finish up the regular season. Tickets for those April games go on sale Monday, April 1 at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.