BROOKINGS, SD – The Bruins jumped on the Blizzard early but couldn’t hold the lead on two separate occasions and saw their winning streak and point streak come to an end on Friday night at Larson Ice Center. Brookings got the 4-3 win, their fifth against the Bruins in six tries this season – all in regulation.
Making his return from injury, former Blizzard player Justin Brandt scored on his first shift of the game at 2:15 of the opening period. Andy Willis and Valedmar Ahlberg, Brandt’s linemates, each assisted. The same line produced another goal just over two minutes later when Brandt fed Willis on a 2-on-1 to make it 2-0. Alex Schilling was the story of the first period, stopping all 16 Brookings shots.
In the 2nd, the Blizzard got on the board at 6:47 when Cameron Teamor redirected an elevated pass off his upper body and past Schilling to cut the lead in half. The goal energized Brookings who tied the score at 8:54 when Chase Brand got a breakaway and backhanded a bouncing puck short-side. The Bruins quickly regained the lead a minute later on a power play goal by Evan Cholak, set up by Travis Kothenbeutel who extended his point streak to ten games. A later power play goal by Derek Hammer sent the game into the third period tied at three.
With 8:09 remaining, the Blizzard finally took the lead on another power play goal – this one by Connor Koviak. Each team ended up with 40 shots on goal, but Benjamin Beck kept the Blizzard ahead to seal the win. Schilling had to face many more quality scoring opportunities than Beck and took the hard-luck loss.
The Bruins retain first placed but find themselves in a vitual tie with Aberdeen as they return home to finish the weekend series with Brookings on Saturday night at 7:05. Fans can purchase discount tickets at Hy-Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn.