After falling to the Bismark Bobcats 5-1 Friday night, the Austin Bruins exploded in the second period of Saturday night’s game for three goals that helped the black-and-gold earn the 3-2 victory in Bismarck before the holiday break.
Following Friday night’s loss to Bobcats, a game in which the Bruins surrendered a season-high 48 shots on goal, Austin knew they had to play a better defensive game on Saturday. That’s exactly what transpired in the first period of action between the Bruins and Bobcats on Saturday night with neither team finding the back of the net in the opening frame.
In the second period, however, the Bruins offense came to life. One-minute and 41 seconds into the second period, Jens Richards scored his fourth goal of the season, when he ripped a wrist shot past the blocker arm of Bismarck goalie Tommy Aitken. For Richards, it was goals in back-to-back nights, and his first goal that wasn’t a redirection or tip-in. With the lead 1-0, the Bruins got their second tally of the night when Mason Poolman jammed home a backhand for the 2-0 lead. Austin took their largest lead of the night, 3-0, later in the second when Barrett Brooks scored his third goal of the season.
Out of the gate in the third, Bismarck swapped goalies, putting Cameron Korpi between the pipes and sitting Tommy Aitken. The Bruins held onto their 3-0 lead well into the third period, but Bismarck made it interesting late. While on a breakaway, Bismarck’s Ben Troumbley was drug down from behind by Bruins defenseman Frank Dovorany resulting in a penalty shot. Troumbley made sure to make the penalty shot count as he roofed a backhander over the shoulder of Bruins netminder Hudson Hodges. Only a minute and 44 seconds later Bismarck climbed to within one when Lars Rodne took control of a turnover in the slot and snapped home a wrister past Hodges. From there, the Bruins clamped down defensively and even survived a point-blank post-shot from Austin Schwartz to win the game 3-2.
For the Bruins, the win snapped a five-game losing streak and improved their record to 4-5-2-0 on the season. For Bismarck, the loss slipped them to 5-8-0-1 on the year. Neither team managed to score a goal while on the powerplay, as Austin went 0-for-8 with the man advantage and Bismarck went 0-for-5. In total, the Bruins got multipoint nights from Barrett Brooks (1G, 1A) and Garrett Dahm (2A). Hudson Hodges earned his first NAHL win in just his second start turning aside 24 of 26 Bismarck shots. For the Bobcats, Tommy Aitken was handed the loss, stopping 13 of 16 Bruins shots through two periods, while Cameron Korpi was a perfect 4-for-4 in the third period in relief.
Up next for the Bruins, they await the Governor’s announcement due on December 18 to see what restrictions may be in place for the state of Minnesota heading into the 2021 calendar year. Currently scheduled, the Bruins are due to host the Chippewa Steel on Thursday, December 31 at Riverside Arena for a 7:05 start.