RICHFIELD, Minn. — The Austin Bruins earned a very crucial standings point on Thursday night but they couldn’t get the victory as they were defeated by the Minnesota Magicians, 3-2, in the shootout.
The Bruins struck first on hostile ice in Thursday, getting the 1-0 lead when Mason Poolman slipped a shot under the arm of Magicians goalie Andy Beran. The Bruins would get their first power-play later in the period and after coming up empty, the teams played on. Late in the opening frame, Carson Riddle was called for holding, giving the Magicians their first man-advantage of the game. Shortly after the penalty expired, the horn sounded on the first 20 minutes and the Bruins took the single-goal lead to the locker room.
While Austin’s penalty-kill was successful in their first attempt, their next two turned out to be the opposite. Minnesota battled back into the game and tied things up at 1-1 with a goal from Spencer Falk. Minutes late, once again on the power-play, Luc Laylin gave the Magicians their first lead of the game. After stopping the puck behind the net, Bruins net minder Hudson Hodges left it for the defense. A miscommunication between defenders allowed Magicians forward Luke Kron to feed a pass in the slot to Laylin who went top shelf for the 2-1 lead.
In the third period, Austin tied the game thanks to their hottest player as of late, Carson Riddle. The Western Michigan commit fooled Beran by sliding a puck past his outstretched leg and across the goal line, evening the score at two goals apiece.
Neither Hodges nor Beran would surrender throughout the rest of the third period and overtime was needed. During the 3-on-3 period, each team had their chances with both netminders standing tall. On two occasions, Hodges got just enough of a Magicians shot that, while it got through the goalie, was redirected wide of the net. A shootout was deemed necessary to decide the game’s fate, and as the visiting team, the Bruins got their first crack. Austin’s first shooter, leading goal-scorer, Barrett Brooks tried to go low glove side and while he got Beran to bite, Brooks couldn’t loft the puck over the goalies pad. At the other end of the ice, Hunter Longi was the first Minnesota shooter and he solved Hodges by going five-hole. In the second round, Alex Trombley attempted to go low blocker side, but for a second consecutive time Beran was able to kick it away. Hodges did his job in the second-round by stopping Devlin McCabe, but Garrett Dahm was stuffed in the third round giving the Magicians the 3-2 win.
With the shootout loss, the Bruins fall to 16-25-4-3 but earned a crucial standings point. The Magicians went to 22-15-3-0 with the win and snapped their six-game losing streak. Hudson Hodges was the losing goalie of record, despite stopping 32 of 35 shots, while Beran got the win turning aside 29 of 32.
The two teams meet for the rematch, and the finale of the regular season, on Friday night at Riverside Arena. Tickets for the game are on sale at www.austinbruins.com/single-game-tickets