AUSTIN, MN – In the eighth annual Paint the Rink Pink event on Saturday night, the Austin Bruins raised $24,680 for the Hormel Institute. In front of a sellout crowd of 2,000 strong at Riverside Arena, the Bruins played one of their best games of the season and defeated the Minnesota Magicians, 5-1 on pink-painted ice.
Prior to the game, 2018 Paint the Town Pink Ambassador and cancer survivor Cheri Krejci, of Blooming Prairie, dropped the ceremonial puck. Funds were raised primarily through the postgame charity auction that included the entire set of game-worn specialty jerseys, Bruiser’s team-signed jersey, and a variety of alumni and novelty items. The most expensive item was forward Travis Kothenbeutel’s jersey, going for $3,000. Kothenbeutel became the Bruins all-time leading scorer on January 10th when he broke the record previously held by Jay Dickman. He tied Dickman’s career goals record (51) with the opening tally on Saturday to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead late in the first period.
Forward Dante Sheriff scored a power play goal in the second period to double the Bruins lead, and Austin took full control in the 3rd on a pair of goals by forward Alex Mella and another power play marker from defenseman Dan Petrick. The Magicians scored late to spoil the shutout bid of Alex Schilling, but the Bruins skated to the decisive 5-1 victory.
Other means of fundraising included the sale of Paint the Rink Pink t-shirts, chuck-a-puck, a 50-50 raffle, and “I Fight cards,” allowing fans to commemorate loved ones who have battled or are currently battling cancer. The cards will continue to hang in the Riverside Arena lobby through February.
Paint the Rink Pink – conceived by Bruins owner Craig Patrick in 2010 – was the original event that has grown into an annual city-wide initiative. The Bruins have raised a total of $242,089 for the Hormel Institute in eight seasons.