BLAINE, MN – Jan Stefka’s goal with 32 seconds left in overtime helped the Bruins to their first win of the season, 3-2 over the defending Robertson Cup Champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Thursday afternoon at the NAHL Showcase.
In a role-reversal from Wednesday night, the Bruins faced a 14-5 shot deficit in the first but came out with the lead thanks to a goal by Dan Petrick at 11:13 from Jason Koehn. An early 2nd period goal by Logan Haskins put the Bruins up 2-0 through 40 minutes, as netminder Jake Kucharski stopped all 29 Fairbanks shots.
The Ice Dogs finally broke through 3:03 of the third when Dean Hewines followed his own shot and cut the deficit in half. Unable to hold on with an empty net in the other end, the Bruins allowed the game tying goal with just over 40 seconds to go when Ryan Kero beat Kucharski from the right faceoff circle.
Overtime was played very cautiously on both sides with only two shots apiece, but it was Stefka’s blast that found the net at 4:28 for the game winner. Kucharski made 39 saves on 41 shots to earn the win. Fairbanks lost for the first time in five games this season, falling to 4-0-1.
The Bruins play next on Friday morning at 10:00 AM against the Johnstown Tomahawks, who are also off to a 4-0-0 start to the season. The game will be broadcast on FASTHockey.com, with coverage starting at 9:50 AM.