Austin Bruins claim playoff spot with 5-2 win over Bismark Saturday evening
After falling to the Bismark Bobcats 3-2 in a shootout Friday night, the Austin Bruins were looking to get back on the winning track against the Bobcats at Riverside Arena Saturday evening, and five different Bruins lit the lamp in a 5-2 victory that clinched a spot in the Robertson Cup playoffs for the club.
Austin’s Jackson Rilei tallied his second goal of the season at 2:19 of the opening period to give the Bruins an early 1-0 lead, with assists to Ethan Lindahl, his 11th, and also to Jackson Luther, his sixth. Josh Guiliani made it 2-0 Bruins at 8:25 of the period, with Dylan Cook registering his 21st assist of the season, and James Goffredo picking up his 22nd, but Bismark’s Atilla Lippal scored his first goal of the season at 16:55 of the period to cut the Bruins lead to 2-1 at the end of one.
Austin’s Matthew Desiderio tallied what turned out to be the eventual game-winning goal at 3:35 of the second period to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead, with assists to Lindahl, his 12th of the season and second of the game, and Walter Zacher notched his team-leading 29th goal of the season, an unassisted tally at :49 of the third period to increase Austin’s lead to 4-1. After a goal from Bismark’s Logan Valkama at 12:41 of the period cut the Bruins lead to 4-2, Ocean Wallace tallied an empty-net goal, his 14th of the season at 16:56 to account for the 5-2 final.
Adam Prokop turned aside 21 of the 23 shots he faced to earn the win between the pipes for Austin, while Linards Lipskis made 27 saves in facing 31 shorts for Bismark. The Bruins were 0 for 2 on the power play for the game, while the Bobcats were 0-4, and Bismark was penalized five times for 31 minutes, including a 5-minute spearing major and a game misconduct on Adam Pietila, who accounted for 25 of those minutes himself, while Austin took five penalites for 10 minutes for the game.
With the win, Austin is now 32-13-3-5-2, good for 72 points and first place in the Central Division, 13 points clear of the North Iowa Bulls and the St. Cloud Norsemen, who are tied for second with 59 points. The Bruins return to action this coming Saturday at home versus St. Cloud, with face-off at Riverside Arena scheduled for 7:05 p.m.