AUSTIN, Minn. – After surrendering four goals in the first fifteen minutes of the game, the Bruins scored six consecutive goals to fend off the Minnesota Wilderness 6-5.
For the Minnesota Wilderness, the start of Friday’s games was everything you could hope for as a visiting team. Minnesota was able to score just 50 seconds into the game and quiet the Riverside Arena crowd with a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, the Wilderness added to their lead when Jacob Herter scored with only one-second left on the power-play making it 2-0. Now feeling the pressure, the Bruins attempted to mount a return, but the Wilderness reacted and countered with their third goal in the game’s first 6:19. Following the goal, Bruins Head Coach Steve Howared opted to pull goaltender Brett Miller in favor of Tyler Shea. Despite the goalie swap, the Wilderness weren’t done their as power-play unit struck gold for a second-time, this time off the stick of Garrett Worth. With the score now 4-0 with 5:05 remaining in the first period, it seemed the Bruins were down and out for the count, but that was far from the truth. Only 1:18 remained on the clock when the Bruins got their first goal of the game thanks to Connor Mylymok, his first of the season. That was all the scoring that the first period held but the Bruins had some newfound momentum despite trailing 4-1 after one period of action.
Right out of the gates in the second, the Bruins cut the lead in half when Hugh Larkin scored his tenth goal of the season just 49 seconds into the middle frame. The Bruins kept the pressure on, when things exploded in the second. Following a big hit at center ice on Peter Jacobs, Bruins forward Carson Riddle came to the aid of his teammate. Riddle singled out the much bigger Dane Stoyanoff and the two dropped the gloves, electrifying the crowd. Riddle more than held his own despite a ten-inch, sixty-pound, difference in fighters and rocked Stoyanoff with three rights before swinging his opponent to the ice. Following the fight, the Bruins bench was elevated to a new level of momentum and it reflected on the ice. With only 1:07 left in the second period, the Bruins and Ben Almquist pulled to within one goal with the Victoria, Minnesota native’s team-leading thirteenth goal of the season. Both teams made their way to the second intermission with a totally different outlook, with Austin only a goal behind, 4-3.
Just like they did in the second period, the Bruins made sure to get one early, and Connor Mylymok made sure to put it home scoring his second goal of the night, his second of the season, just 36 seconds into the third period rendering the comeback complete, with the Bruins tying the game, 4-4. Despite a few penalties in the early portion of the third, the Bruins killed off all of the Wilderness attacks and limited shots on goal to just four for the entire period. Amidst the defensive shutdown, Austin took their first lead of the night thanks to Peter Jacobs’ third of the season and the Bruins first on the power-play of the night. Just for good measure, the Bruins added an insurance goal to increase the lead to 6-4 late in the first, and Ben Almquist’s second of the night proved valuable as the Wilderness battled to the final whistle getting a goal with only 22 seconds left in the game.
After the dust settled, Connor Mylymok lead all the Bruins in points with two goals and an assist, Ben Almquist scored two goals of his own, while Hugh Larkin and Jaden Shields each had two points. Tyler Shea fought off nine of the eleven shots he saw in the game since coming on in relief and earned the win. Kaleb Johnson was good on 27 of the 33 shots he faced and was handed his first loss to the Bruins of the season. With the win, the Bruins improved to 12-8-2-2 and leapfrogged the Wilderness for fourth place in the division while Minnesota slipped to 13-10-1-0.
The Bruins are back on home ice next Friday as they take on the St. Cloud Blizzard for the first time this season. Tickets for Friday night’s game go on sale Monday, December 2 at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.