It’s been a long time coming for hockey fans in Austin after having watched the Bruins play their first eight games away from Riverside Arena. Nearly a month since their final home preseason game, it will be a welcomed homecoming from the B’s – but far from an easy weekend, as those pesky Bobcats come to down.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR –
Riverside Revenge: The Bruins played well enough two win at least one – if not both – of their games against the Bobcats at VFW Sports Center two weekends ago. 5-4 and 4-3 losses made it a bitter pill to swallow leaving Bismarck with just one win since the beginning of last season. Home ice has been a much different story against the ‘Cats however, with the Bruins having gone 5-1-0 in six total games (including playoffs) at home against Bismarck last season.
Kennedy’s Return: Friday night will mark Zach Kennedy’s first game as a visitor at Riverside Arena – certain to be an emotional experience for the former Bruins forward who was a mainstay in the Austin lineup over the last two seasons. He’s off to a solid start with the Bobcats, scoring three goals and adding three assists in their first eight games.
Little Guys, Big Heart: Diminutive forwards Logan Haskins (5’8) and Travis Kothenbeutel (5’10) have each potted three goals in the early going, one off the team lead. The Bruins are a fairly undersized team but haven’t been afraid of going to the dirty areas. Haskins had a penalty shot opportunity late in Saturday’s game but was denied by Aberdeen’s Arttu Kulmala. It was already the second Bruins penalty shot of the season. (Misiak @ Bismarck on Oct. 1st)
Goaltending Grab: With three wins in the standings, each goaltender (Robbie Goor, Jake Kucharski, and Alex Schilling) possesses one W, leaving the starting job up in the air until further notice. Kucharski started four of the first six games, but Goor has played the last seven periods. Schilling hasn’t seen action since his Showcase win against Johnstown on September 23rd.
THE MATCHUP –
Central Division Standings:
2016-17 Head to Head (Bismarck leads 2-0-0)
click date for game story
09/30/16 Austin 4 at Bismarck 5
10/01/16 Austin 3 at Bismarck 4
10/14/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
10/15/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
11/04/16 @Austin – 7:05 PM
11/05/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
12/16/16 @ Bismarck – 7:15 PM
12/17/16 @ Bismarck – 7:15 PM
03/10/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
03/11/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
04/07/17 @ Bismarck – 7:15 PM
04/08/17 @ Bismarck – 7:15 PM
2015-16 Head to Head (Bismarck won 7-4-2):
09/18/15 Austin 3 at Bismarck 6
09/19/15 Austin 0 at Bismarck 3
11/13/15 Austin 4 at Bismarck 6
11/14/15 Austin 3 at Bismarck 2
11/20/15 Bismarck 3 at Austin 7
11/21/15 Bismarck 8 at Austin 1
03/11/16 Bismarck 0 at Austin 1/OT
03/12/16 Bismarck 1 at Austin 2/SO
04/29/16 Austin 1 at Bismarck 5 (G1)
04/30/16 Austin 1 at Bismarck 4 (G2)
05/06/16 Bismarck 0 at Austin 7 (G3)
05/07/16 Bismarck 2 at Austin 3 (G4)
05/09/16 Austin 0 at Bismarck 4 (G5)
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –
The puck drops at 7:05 from Riverside Arena on Friday and Saturday night, with gates opening at 6:00. The first 500 fans through the gate on Friday will receive a can koozie, courtesy of Kaplan University. Tickets are on sale for $4 off the door price at our vendors: Hy Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn and Austin Conference Center.
Both games will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on HockeyTV.com, with the “HOME” feed carrying the Bruins broadcast. An audio only broadcast will be available for Saturday’s game only on AM 1480 KAUS in Austin as well as streaming online at myaustinminnesota.com. The broadcasts begin ten minutes prior to scheduled faceoff. Intermission updates for all games can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@theaustinbruins).