AUSTIN, MN – Jaden Shields has a nearly automatic shootout move that he uses in practice frequently. Until Saturday night, he had never been able to pull it off in a game. With the puck on his stick and the shootout tied in round six, Shields slid the puck around the pad of Brookings goaltender Zachary Borgiel to give the Bruins their fourth win in a row and second in three days against the Blizzard.
After a scoreless first period, the Bruins surrendered the game’s first goal for the fifth game in a row when Max Sasson banked one off of a falling Mads Sogaard at 5:59 of the second. Under two minutes later, the Bruins answered with a pretty passing play from Garrett Dahm to Andy Willis and then on the tape of Dominic Skrelja who tapped home his first NAHL goal right at the top of the crease. At 10:18, the Bruins went ahead when Jaden Shields shot one from the point through a Valdemar Ahlberg screen. Willis picked up his second assist of the game on the play. In what was a hectic five-and-a-half minute stretch, the Blizzard had a quick response from Jimmy Elser with a shot inside the post at 11:33 to tie it a two.
The third period was reminiscent of the first and neither team scored. Sogaard played a strong frame, stopping Josh Boyer on a shorthanded breakaway midway through. For the fourth time in six Bruins games, overtime was required. Shots on OT totaled three a piece, but the best chance came when Garrett Dahm and Travis Kothenbeutel skated on a two-man breakaway but couldn’t hit the net.
The first three shooters in the shootout all scored, with Elser and Sasson finding the net for Brookings and Dante Zapata getting his league-leading fourth for the Bruins. After denials on Skrelja and Boyer, Evan Cholak had to score to keep the game going and did with a head-fake forehand on Borgiel. Sogaard and Borgiel each stopped shooters in the fourth and fifth rounds and after Sogaard denied Haiden Karnick, Shields put his move on Borgiel to end the game in six rounds.
Sogaard earned his seventh win with 34 saves while Borgiel stopped 36 in the loss. The top three teams in the Central all defeated the bottom three, opening up some separation in the division, but the Bruins remain just one point behind first-place Aberdeen. Saturday night’s series finale begins at 7:05 from Larson ice Center in Brookings. Fans can watch the game on HockeyTV, with the AWAY audio carrying the Bruins broadcast. The Bakery Lounge, the official road headquarters of Bruins hockey, will also be airing the game.