AUSTIN, Minn. – Dante Zapata scored the Bruins final two goals in the third period to lift the Bruins over Aberdeen, 4-2.
It was very important to the Bruins to get the first goal and that’s exactly what Austin did. Ben Almquist scored his first goal of the postseason tucking in a tight angle shot past Aberdeen netminder Matt Vernon for the 1-0 Bruins lead.
With the lead coming out of the locker room after one period of play, the Bruins pressed on trying to increase their lead but Aberdeen was able to equalize the score at 1-1, thanks to Jonathan Bendorf and his second of the postseason.
The third period was where all the scoring broke wide open. Austin was able to get their lead back when a pretty redirect off the stick of Jed Pietila slid through the wickets of Vernon giving the Bruins their second lead of the night. Aberdeen, once again, wasn’t willing to say die and managed to tie the game at two, when a blocked shot landed right on the stick of Adam Pitters who slammed it home into a practically empty net. With the score tied at two goals apiece, it was Dante Zapata time. The third-year Bruin created his own magic slamming a Wings defender into the wall behind the net, jarring the puck free and creating the turnover. Zapata fed the puck to Pietila in the slot who immediately returned the pass and Zapata gave the Bruins their third lead of the night, bringing the Bruins faithful to their feet. With the score already 3-2, Zapata decided he wasn’t finished. He found himself with the puck in the offensive zone surrounded by three Wings defenders. The Huntington Beach, CA, native someone navigated the puck through a litany of feet, finding open space and scoring a wrist-shot past Vernon to stretch the lead to 4-2.
Austin was able to fight off a couple of late penalties as well as two 6-on-4 rushes from the Wings with the extra attacker, and the clock struck triple zeros with the Bruins on top, 4-2, forcing a Game 4 on Saturday.
Tickets for Saturday night’s showdown go on sale Saturday morning at all of the Bruins Vendors including, Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, and Jim’s Marketplace. With puck drop scheduled at 7:25, doors will still open at 6 P.M. allowing fans to enjoy an extended happy hour. All tickets purchased at the ticket window will be discounted to vendor price, and season ticket holder can enjoy even more savings with tickets starting at $5.