In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Bruins were looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five NAHL Central Division semifinal series with the Minot Minotauros at Riverside Arena Saturday evening, and it was the Bruins jumping out to a 3-1 lead after one period of play on their way to a 4-2 victory.
Austin used a pair of power-play goals to take a 2-0 first period lead, as University of Vermont commit Jack Malinski tallied his fourth goal of the season at 3:33, with assists to Ocean Wallace and Damon Furseth, and with Minot’s Jan-Kasper Bergman in the penalty box for interference, Dartmouth commit Austin Salani made the score 2-0 at 5:58, with assists to Gavin Morrissey, already his third of the playoffs, and also to James Goffredo. The Minotauros answered with a power-play goal of their own from Braden Fischer at 9:08 to cut Austin’s lead to 2-1, but the Bruins regained a two-goal lead with only :43 seconds left in the period when Walter Zacher scored his third goal of the playoffs, with an assist to Austin Salani to make the score 3-1 after one period of play. Austin tallied the only goal of the second period when Josh Giuliani lit the lamp on the power play at 15:08, with assists to Gavin Morrissey, his second of the game and fourth of the playoffs, and also to Walter Zacher, his second of the post-season and his second point of the game. Minot’s Chase LaPinta scored the only goal of the third period, unassisted at 17:55 to account for the 4-2 final.
Austin outshot Minot 30-29 for the game, with Trent Wiemken earning the win between the pipes for the Bruins with 27 saves, while Noah Rupprecht got the start for the Minotauros and played the first 5:58 of the game, making four saves on six shots, and Lawton Zacher came in to play the remaining 54:02 in net and was tagged with the loss, facing 24 shots and making 22 saves. Minot was whistled for eight penalties for 37 minutes, while Austin was called for six penalties for 12 minutes, and the Bruins wound up going 3 for 6 on the power play, while the Minotauros were 1 for 5.
The series now shifts to Minot for Game 3 Friday evening at 7:35 p.m. Game 4, if necessary, would also be played in Minot at 7:35 p.m. Saturday evening, and if the Minotauros win both games this coming weekend, a fifth and deciding game would be played at Riverside Arena in Austin on Monday, May 1st at 7:05 p.m.