The Bruins and Bobcats are well acquainted just 8 weeks into the season, having played four head-to-head games already. Bismarck has claimed three of the first four, but all by one goal margins as the series has been tight, as it was last year. After a Bismarck sweep on September 30th and October 1st, the teams split a series at Riverside three weeks ago. They’ll have played a total of 12 times before the season is out, and only time for what the postseason could bring.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR –
Kucharski Committed: Bruins goalie Jake Kucharski announced his commitment to the Providence Friars NCAA DI program this week, the same spot that last year’s starting netminder Kris Carlson landed. Kucharski is only 17 and will likely play at least another season of Juniors after this one, but for the here and now, he appears to be the #1 option in the B’s net and perhaps the relief of making a decision will enhance his performance in the net.
Mostly Mismash: Parker Mismash is leading Bismarck in virtually every offensive category including points, goals, and assists. In addition, he is the team penalty minute leader. Through the four head-to-heads this season, Mismash has one goal and four assists against the Bruins.
Where There’s a Will There’s a Way: Will Ulrich has picked up right where he left off last year in terms of his domination of the Bruins. After posting a 6-1-0 record with a 1.85 goals-against average against the Bruins as a member of the Magicians last year, he’s already 2-1-0 against Austin in a Bobcat uniform. Ulrich got the win on October 1st at VFW Sports Center and was less than two minutes from a shutout at Riverside on October 16th before Jan Stefka scored with the extra attacker out to bring that game to a 2-1 Bismarck final.
The 5 goal club: The Bruins continued their balanced offensive attack as Travis Kothenbeutel, Logan Haskins, and Jon Richards each scored goals in last weekend’s series against Minot. All three men share the team lead with five goals, with Jan Stefka and Justin Misiak close behind with four each.
THE MATCHUP –
Central Division Standings:
2016-17 Head to Head (Bismarck leads 3-1-0)
click date for game story
09/30/16 Austin 4 at Bismarck 5
10/01/16 Austin 3 at Bismarck 4
10/14/16 Bismarck 1 at Austin 4
10/15/16 Bismarck 2 at Austin 1
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
Head to Head Notables:
AUS: L. Haskins (3G + 2A), J. Stefka (2G + 2A), E. Cholak (1G + 3A)
BIS: T. Fladeby (4 G + 1 A), P. Mismash (1G + 4A), J. Resseguie (3G + 1A)
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. This weekend we are celebrating our local youth hockey organizations with Albert Lea Youth Hockey Night on Friday, followed by Austin Youth Hockey Night on Saturday. All youth hockey players receive free admission with a paid adult on their night. 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 live on HockeyTV.com, with pregame beginning at 6:55. Saturday’s game will also be broadcast on the radio airwaves of AM 1480 KAUS in Austin or streaming online at myaustinminnesota.com.