The Austin Bruins completed the home-and-home sweep of the Minnesota Magicians on Saturday night, doubling up their in-state rivals 6-3 on the most offensively heavy game for the team this season.
Austin started out the night much as they did on Friday night against the Magicians, by scoring the game’s first goal within the first five minutes of the start of the game. Hugh Larkin found the back of the net, his seventh goal of the season and first of the night, only four minutes and 43 seconds after the puck was dropped. It didn’t take long for Minnesota to respond, however, as they evened things up at 1-1 off the stick of Jake Hale only a minute and 22 seconds later. In a game that continued to go back and forth, Carson Riddle regained the lead for the Bruins at 2-1 only a minute and 39 seconds later. All in all, both teams scored a total of three goals in a quick three minutes and one second. The scoring in the first period wasn’t done there, however as the Magicians clawed back to tie the game at two goals apiece when Trevor Kukkonen scored his first goal of the season.
In the second period, the see-saw battle continued but it saw the Bruins take their first two-goal lead of the night. Out of the locker rooms with the game tied 2-2, Hugh Larkin scored his second goal of the night on the power-play, making it 3-2 Bruins. Austin took their first two-goal lead of the night only 27 seconds later when Mason McCormick buried home a back-door shot for his first goal of the season, giving the Bruins the 4-2 lead. Minnesota once again battled back into the game, making it a 4-3 contest when Jimmy Doyle slipped a shot past Bruins goaltender Brett Miller. From that point on, it was all Bruins. Austin regained their two-goal lead when Barrett Brooks, Hugh Larkin, and Ben Almquist raced into the zone on a 3-on-2. Brooks dropped a pass to Larkin in the high slot who immediately funneled the puck to the back door where Almquist was patiently waiting. With the lead 5-3, the Bruins and Magicians headed to the locker room for the second intermission but they didn’t get there without a scrum. Hugh Larkin was ultimately called for grabbing the facemask and was assessed 10-minute game misconduct ending his night after two periods and ending his hat-trick bid.
In the third period, Jed Pietila scored his fourth goal of the season thanks to a strong rush by the Bruins forecheckers. Sacha Guillemain broke into the zone, attempting to split defenders, he was taken down but somehow got a shot off while falling down. His shot rang off the pipe and was quickly corralled by McCormick who slipped the puck to Pietila at the top of the circle, who slipped a wrister under the arm of Sam Vyletelka for the 6-3 Bruins lead.
The Bruins went 1-for-7 on the powerplay while killing all four the Magicians extra-man opportunities. Brett Miller made 20 stops in his fifth-consecutive games and earned the win. With the victory, the Bruins improved to 8-6-1-2 on the season while the Magicians fell to 4-7-3-2.
The Bruins are back at Riverside Arena on Saturday, November 9, against the Minnesota Wilderness. It’s Austin Packer Athletic Night where the Bruins will be celebrating all Austin Packer Athletics all evening long.