Bruins Overtime Thriller Completes Sweep of Blizzard
The Austin Bruins completed their weekend sweep of the St. Cloud Blizzard on Sunday evening, winning in overtime, 4-3 .
Following Saturday night’s 5-2 victory over the Blizzard at Riverside Arena for Paint the Rink Pink, the Bruins headed up to St. Cloud to complete the home-and-home series with the Blizzard. Much like Saturday’s game, it was St. Cloud who got on the board first taking a 1-0 lead in the opening period. The Bruins wasted little time battling back and managed to tie the game just 30 seconds later. Kyle Oleksiuk, playing in just his second game with Bruins since coming over in a trade from Maryland, cut to the slot and dropped a pass onto the tape of Zach Anderson who rifled a wrist-shot past Blizzard goalie Tyler Bost to even the score at 1-1. The goal was the first in the NAHL career for Anderson and Oleksiuk’s assist was his second in as many games since joining the Bruins. The first period continued it’s high-action pace as the Blizzard retaliated only two minutes later, retaking their one goal lead. As the period wound down to the final three minute, Hugh Quinn helped the Bruins tie the game at 2-2 when he lofted a shot to the top right corner, over Bost’s shoulder, and into the back of the net. For Quinn, that was his third goal as a Bruin and his second scored at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex this season.
In the second period it took only fifteen seconds for the Bruins to take their first lead of the night. Connor Mylymok scored his eighth goal of the season, his second of the weekend, to push the Bruins up 3-2 in the early part of the second period. After much back-and-forth for the two teams, St. Cloud managed to climb to a 3-3 tie midway through the second period.
In the third period, despite outshooting St. Cloud 11-3, the Bruins couldn’t solve Bost and Bruins goalie Brett Miller stood his ground including make a sprawling left-pad save to keep the game even. Following 60 minutes of hockey, the two teams needed overtime to find a winner.
On the second shift of the overtime period, just a minute and a half in, Dante Sheriff broke into the offensive zone down the right wing wall. The Mercyhurst commit, spied the far left side of Bost and snapped a wrist-shot under the arm and above the pad for the game winner. The goal would be Sheriff’s sixteenth of the season and helped him takeover sole possession of first place in the NAHL scoring leaderboard.
Brett Miller earned the victory in net, his sixteenth of the season, stopping 22 of 25 St. Cloud shots. On the other side, Tyler Bost knocked away 29 of 33 Bruins shots in the loss. With the win the Bruins improved their record to 24-13-2-4 and with Minot idle on Sunday, Austin leapfrogged the Minotauros to take over third place in the NAHL Central Division. Following the loss the St. Cloud Blizzard fall to 10-30-4-1 on the season.
Up next for the Bruins is a two-game showdown with the Bismarck Bobcats at Riverside Arena on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. Friday is another $10 night at the Bruins game where fans can get all tickets for just $10, as well as $10 buckets of beer, and more. On Saturday, the Bruins honor another Hometown Hero presented by Hormel Foods. To get tickets to either game this upcoming weekend, stop by any one of the Bruins vendors including Games People Play, Hy-Vee, Holiday Inn, or Jim’s Marketplace starting on Monday, February 10.
TJ Chillot, AustinBruins.com