AUSTIN, Minn. – In a tightly contested battle throughout the night, the Bruins couldn’t overcome a lackluster third period and dropped their first game against the Aberdeen Wings this season, 3-1.
It didn’t take long for fireworks to be had during Friday night’s game with the first goal of the game coming only 12 seconds in. After the first stoppage, Aberdeen took their first lead of the night when Trevor Russell rifled a shot from the point that was redirected in front by Peyton Matsui and behind Bruins netminder Tyler Shea. It was a bad break for the Bruins to start the night on the road, as Shea was screened in front and lost sight of the puck through traffic.
Despite trailing 1-0 for nearly two periods, the Bruins began to battle back and it all paid off in the final second of the middle frame. With time dwindling down, Sutter Muzzatti muscled his way along the Aberdeen boards and found a lane to the front of the net. The big-bodied forward cut into the slot and managed to get a shot off and despite the chance being saved by Wings’ goalie Jake Sibell, Bruins defenseman Cullen Rush found the rebound in the slot and rifled home the equalizer, sending both teams to the locker room tied at 1-1 after two.
In the third period, it was Aberdeen who controlled the pace of play, pressuring the Bruins and keeping the puck in Austin’s defensive zone for long stretches at a time. Midway through the period, the Wings cracked the Bruins defense and took their second lead of the night 2-1. As the black-and-gold fought back to re-tie the game, Aberdeen sealed the victory for good when Matsui scored his second goal of the game, this time on the power-play, to take the game out of reach at 3-1.
Despite being saddled with the loss, Shea turned aside 35 of the 38 shots that he faced in goal, while Jake Sibell earned the victory after stopping 17 of 18 shots. The Bruins powerplay didn’t have success going 0-for-4 with the extra man, but their penalty kill was good on 5-of-6 opportunities. With the loss, the Bruins fall to 3-2-1-0 on the season while the Wings improve to an impressive 11-0-0-0. The two teams will meet again on Saturday night for an encore with puck-drop from the Odde Ice Center coming at 7:15 and coverage beginning on HockeyTV and Power 96.1 FM beginning at 7:05.