Austin Bruins complete weekend sweep of St. Cloud Norsemen 2-1 Saturday evening

Coming off a hard-fought, 1-0 win over the St. Cloud Norsemen at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud Friday night, the Austin Bruins had their sights set on a sweep of the weekend series between the two NAHL Central Division rivals at Riverside Arena Saturday evening, and a third-period goal from Reilley Kotai proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Bruins win.

Gustav Noren’s goal late in the first period at 18:42, his 12th of the season, with an assist to Will Diamond, his seventh, made the score 1-0 Austin after one, and after St. Cloud’s Peyton Mithmuangneua tallied the only goal of the second period on the power play to knot the game at 1-1, Kotai’s tally at 14:34 of the third, with an assist to Noren, his 18th of the season, put the Bruins in the lead 2-1, and Austin’s defense and goaltender Vilgot Holm were able to hold the Norsemen at bay the rest of the game to pick up the win.

St. Cloud outshot Austin 24-15 for the game, and Holm made 23 saves to earn the win between the pipes, as the Bruins received fantastic goaltending during the series, with Trent Wiemken turning away all 29 shots he faced Friday night to earn a shutout win.  St. Cloud’s Ryan Manzella kicked out 13 of 15 shots to take the loss in net, and the Norsemen were called for four penalties for eight minutes, while the Bruins were whistled for seven penalties for 14 minutes, and St. Cloud was 1 for 5 on the power play, while Austin was 0 for 2.

With the weekend sweep, the Bruins jumped from fifth to third in the Central Division standings, as their record of 26-19-2-1-1 gives them 55 points and ties them with the Aberdeen Wings for third place, three points ahead of now fifth-place St. Cloud.  The Bruins and the Norsemen will meet again this coming weekend for a series at the MAC in St. Cloud, with face-off at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights.