The final game of the Austin Bruins three-in-three didn’t go their way as they fell to the Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet Saturday evening 3-0.
A tough first period for the Bruins proved to be too much to overcome as the home team Wilderness jumped out front and managed to stay there. Despite the Bruins getting good pressure and opportunities early in the first, it was the Wilderness who struck first. Gunnar Thoreson netted his second goal of the season with a little more than three minutes remaining in the first to give the Wilderness the 1-0 lead. Less than 30 seconds later, Hunter Young secured a turnover and rifled a shot over Bruins goalie Hudson Hodges’ left-shoulder for the 2-0 lead.
In the second the Bruins had a couple of power-play opportunities, although one was cut short due to a penalty of their own, they couldn’t solve Minnesota netminder Kaleb Johnson. The same rang true in the third, despite Austin having their best period of the game, peppering Johnson with twelve total shots. In the final three minutes of the game, the Bruins opted to pull Hudson Hodges and though they had the extra-attacker, Minnesota buried their third goal of the night on the empty net thanks to Zach Michaelis.
In total, Kaleb Johnson earned the win having turned all 25 Bruins shots, while Hudson Hodges kicked away 28 of 30 Wilderness attempts. Neither team found twine while on the power-play, with the Bruins going 0-for-3 and the Wilderness going 0-for-2. With the loss, Austin falls to 5-7-2-1 on the season while the Wilderness improve to 3-4-0-1. For Minnesota, the two points helped them jump up into fifth place in the NAHL Central Division, one point ahead of St. Cloud.
The Bruins managed to earn two points out of a possible six during their three games in three days and up next, they square off with the Chippewa Steel for the second time this year on Friday, January 29, before getting another crack at the Wilderness on Saturday, January 30.