MASON CITY, IA- For the first time since 1985, two teams from Austin, MN, and Mason City, IA met for a hockey game. This one went to the Bruins by the 4-3 final in the Shoot-out.
Right out the gate, the physicality was present in the budding border battle rivalry between the two clubs. Marian Haborak would draw first blood as Sutter Muzzatti and Jens Richards would combine on the Chad Thomas Power Play goal for the Bruins at 6:05 of the first period. North Iowa would answer back though, as Chris Carroll would find a pass from Jack Mesic to tie things up at 1-1 after the 1st period of action.
2nd period would come around and the Bruins would add another Power Play goal, this time from Nick Catalano on a backdoor pass from Carson Riddle. That would be the lone goal of the 2nd period the Bruins would hold on to a 2-1 lead until the 9:27 mark of the 3rd period. Hunter Bulger would sneak one past Bruins goalie, Hudson Hodges, of a shot from the face-off to make it a 2-2 game. Riddle would score 2 minutes later to give Austin a 3-2 lead down to the wire. In the closing seconds of the 3rd, Sean Vlasich would blast one past Hodges to tie things up and force overtime.
Overtime would not be enough has the Bull and Bruins would eventually find themselves in a 5 round shoot-out with the Game-winning goal being scored by Gavin Morrissey! Hodges would face a total of 30 shots and stop 27 of them.
Both teams are back at it again tomorrow in the second half of a home-and-home series. Game time set for 7:05 at Riverside Arena in Austin. Tickets are available by visiting AustinBruins.com, Games People Play or Austin Hy-Vee.