CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisc. – An early three goal deficit proved to be too much for the Bruins to overcome on Friday night, as they fell to the Chippewa Steel, 5-4.
On a night where Austin would get two goals from Jed Pietila and also see Dante Sheriff pull into a tie for first all-time in points by an Austin Bruin, the Bruins just couldn’t overcome their slow start.
The first period proved to be difficult for the Bruins who allowed the first goal only 1:09 into the game. Tyler Shea made the initial save off a shot from the point, but the rebound laid in the paint and was pounded home by Connor McGrath. Already with the lead 1-0, the Steel would add on two more goals by the time the period was over and the Bruins found themselves in a 3-0 hole after one period of action.
In the second period, Braeden Lindstrom would give the Steel a 4-0 lead before the Bruins came to life. Halfway through the middle frame, Barrett Brooks redirected a shot past Steel goaltender Trent Burnham for the Bruins first goal of the night, but the Steel stil lead 4-1. Chippewa wouldn’t wait long before getting their four-goal lead back when McGrath scored his second of the night making it 5-1 in favor of the home time. That’s when the Bruins power-play kicked into gear. In the final four minutes of the second, Jed Pietila push a shot past Burnham to bring the score to 4-2. Sheriff, who came into the night needing just three points to tie Travis Kothenbeutel for the Bruins all-time lead in points, assisted on the Pietila goal and got within two points of the top spot.
In the third, all the scoring belonged to the Bruins. Jed Pietila scored his second power-play goal of the night, assisted by Sheriff and Riddle, while Josef Mysak would bring the Bruins to within one at 5-4 with nine minutes remaining in the game. On Mysak’s goal, Dante Sheriff earned his third assist of the night, his 146th total point as a Bruin which ties him for the most all-time.
Despite a power-play in the final three minutes of the game, the Bruins weren’t able to get the game even and ultimately fell to the Steel, 5-4. The Bruins had three players with multiple points on the night including Pietila (2G), Sheriff (3A), and Mysak (1G, 1A).
With the loss, the Bruins record falls to 21-11-2-4 on the season while the Steel improve to 22-12-0-0. The two teams will meet for a rematch on Saturday night from Chippewa Falls Area Ice Arena with puck drop coming at 7:10. Following the series with the Steel, the Bruins travel out to Minot for a pair of games against the Minotauros before returning home on Saturday, February 8th for the annual Paint the Rink Pink game. Tickets for Paint the Rink Pink against the St. Cloud Blizzard are on sale now at all the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace.