AUSTIN, Minn. – The Austin Bruins managed to earn three out of a total of four points on the weekend but fell on Saturday night in overtime to the Minotauros, 3-2.
Unlike Friday night where the first period went by scoreless, the Bruins jumped out in front on Saturday in the opening frame. Following an offensive zone draw, John Lundy snapped off a wrist shot that flew by a handful of feet and beat ‘Tauros goalie Keenan Rancier through the legs. It didn’t take long for the Bruins to increase their lead to 2-0, in fact, it only took 34 seconds. Mason Poolman raced into the offensive zone and slipped a pass from the corner-boards out to Braiden Simmons-Fischer who netted his second goal of the season. After 20 minutes, the Bruins headed to the locker room with the lead and controlling the pace of play.
In the second, the Minotauros began to mount their comeback. Blaine Warnert was the hero of the night for Minot, netting all three of their goals. His first came in the second period when he beat Hudson Hodges as he charged the net. It turned out to be the only goal of the period for either team and after two periods, the Bruins still clung to their 2-1 lead.
In the third, Warnert struck again, this time evening the game at two goals apiece. The Bruins had some chances in the third period with multiple shots coming on a late-period power play but the black-and-gold couldn’t capitalize. On the other end of the ice, the ‘Tauros saw a goal get disallowed after Bruins goalie Hudson Hodges was taken out of the play, so the two teams headed to overtime.
During the three-on-three period, the Bruins had the first chance of the game breaking in on a two-on-one with Carson Riddle and Barrett Brooks. The two Western Michigan commits couldn’t connect on a cross-ice pass that was blocked and fed out the other direction, springing Warnert free on a breakaway. Coming up the right-wing boards, Warnert fired a snipe over the shoulder of Hodges and into the back of the net for the hat-trick goal and game-winner.
Despite the loss, the Bruins earned a crucial standings point to help them keep pace in the Central Division for the final playoff spot. Following the defeat, Austin slipped to 18-25-5-3 on the season while the ‘Tauros improved to 23-22-5-2. Up next for the Bruins, they play back-to-back home-and-home series with the St. Cloud Norsemen, four total games, to wrap up the regular season. The Bruins play host first on Friday, May 7th with tickets on sale now by visiting www.austinbruins.com.