Austin Bruins fall to Minot Minotauros 3-1 in NAHL Central Division playoffs Saturday evening

Looking to bounce back from a 9-1 loss to the top-seeded Minot Minotauros in the NAHL Central Division playoffs Friday night, the No. 4 seeded Austin Bruins were looking to gain home ice advantage with a win at Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena Saturday night, but in a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Minotauros were able to hold serve on their home ice with a 3-1 win.

After a scoreless first period, a goal from Minot’s Ian Spencer at 16:21 of the second period gave the Minotauros a 1-0 lead after two, and after a goal from Nicholas Sewecke at 8:17 of the third period gave Minot a 2-0 lead, John Hirschfeld’s second goal in a Bruins uniform, with goaltender Trent Wiemken on the bench for a sixth skater at 17:05 cut the Minotauros lead to 2-1, with assists to Ocean Wallace, his 24th, and to Austin Salani, his 39th.  Try as they might, though, the Bruins could not come up with the equalizer, and an empty-net, power play goal from Minot’s Niklas Ketonen at 18:57 made the final 3-1.

Minot outshot Austin 24-15 for the game, as Bruins netminder Trent Wiemken turned away 21 of the 23 shots he faced, and Minotauros goaltender Lukas Swedin made 14 saves in facing 15 shots to earn the win in net.  Both teams were whistled for four penalties apiece Saturday night for eight minutes apiece, and the Minotauros were 1 for 3 with the man advanatge, while the Bruins were 0 for 3.

The Bruins trail the best-of-five series 2-0, and their season will be on the line Friday night at Riverside Arena when the two teams meet for Game 3, with face-off at 7:05 p.m.  Game 4, if needed, would be played at Riverside Arena at 7:05 p.m. Saturday evening.