Austin Bruins down North Iowa Bulls in six-round shootout 5-4 Saturday evening

Coming off  of a 3-1 win at Riverside Arena Friday night, the Austin Bruins were looking for a sweep of NAHL Central Divison rival North Iowa Saturday evening, and in a game that saw the two teams battle through regulation and overtime tied at 4, a goal from Isaak Brassard in the sixth round of the shootout proved to be the difference in a thrilling 5-4 Bruins victory.

After a scoreless first period, the two teams lit up the scoreboard for five goals in the second frame, starting with a goal from North Iowa’s Simon Dadie at 2:23 to put the Bulls ahead, 1-0.  Austin answered 1:49 later when Austin Salani lit the lamp for the 12th time this season at 4:02, with an assist to Gustav Noren, his sxith of the year to knot the game at 1 apiece.  Salani then registered his 16th assist of the season at 7:17 when Dylan Cook scored for the sixth time this year to put the Bruins ahead, 2-1, with another assist to Noren, his seventh.  North Iowa’s Jordan Newpower tied the game at two with a goal at 14:04 of the period, but :37 seconds later, Salani struck for his second goal of the game and his 13th of the season to put Austin back in front, 3-2, with assists to Dylan Cook, his 16th, and to Parker Anderson, his third.

North Iowa took the lead back in the third period when Jack Seaverson scored on the power play at 7:06 and Joe Sweeney’s first goal of the season at 13:17 of the period put the Bulls in front, 4-3, but Ocean Wallace’s eighth goal of the season with the man advantage at 16:31, with an assist to Damon Furseth, his eighth of the year at 16:31 tied the game at four apiece, and contest stayed knotted at 4-4 for the rest of regulation time and overtime.

Austin netminder Logan Rose, who was aquired from the Wisconsin Wendigo via a trade last week and North Iowa goalie Santo Simmchen both turned away the first two shooters in the shootout round, but each squad then tallied in the third round, with Austin’s Alex Laurenza and North Iowa’s Ethan Lindahl both finding the back of the net.  The two netminders then stood tall again through the next two rounds, but in the sixth round,  Rose turned away Jack Seaverson, while Isaak Brassard was able to beat Simmchen to give the Bruins a heart-pounding 5-4 victory.

Austin outshot North Iowa 47-28 overall for the contest, with Rose earning the win in his first start for the Bruins making 24 stops in facing 28 shots, while Simmchen turned away 42 shots overall in taking the loss.  It was a penalty-filled affair at Riverside Arena Saturday night, as the Bruins were whistled for six penalties for 23 mintues, while North Iowa was called for nine penalties for a total of 48 minutes, including a wild third period that saw the two teams combine for 10 penalties for a total of 59 of the game’s 71 total penalty minutes.  The Bruins were 1 for 5 on the power play, while the Bulls were 1 for 3.

With the win, Austin is now 15-8-1-0-1, good for 31 points and third place currently in the Central Division, four points behind front-running Minot and one point behind St. Cloud in second place, while North Iowa fell to 6-17-0-1 for 13 points and sixth place in the division, ten points behind fifth-place Aberdeen.

The Bruins return to action Friday night at Riverside Arena versus Minot for the first of a two-game weekend series, with puck drop at Riverside Arena at 7:05 p.m. Friday night.