The Austin Bruins held their first of two games Friday evening with Team Gold coming out on top 4-3 over Team Black.
Orientation Camp, the final chance for players to impress the coaching staff and earn their spot on the final roster, pits two Austin Bruins teams against one another. It was Team Black who got on the board first with a goal from Akhmed Malsagov. Trailing by a goal, Team Gold battled back with a tally from Mason Poolman assisted by Kevin Fittro. The see-saw battle continued throughout the first period, with Black jumping back on top thanks to defenseman Parker Winkelmann. The play began with Kyle Oleksiuk who broke hard into the zone and fired a shot off the crossbar, just over the shoulder of Gold Team netminder Hudson Hodges. The loose puck found its way onto the stick of defenseman Tyler Huffer who slid a pass parallel to the blue-line parallel to Winkleminn who wristed one home. Later in the first, Team Gold battled back to even the score for the second time on the night when Jackson McCarthy bested Team Black goalie Zach Hanson with assists coming from Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth and James Akouri. McCarthy’s goal stood to be the final of the frame and the energetic first period ended in a 2-2 tie.
In the second, the scoring continued on both sides of the ice. A veteran connection between Peter Jacobs and Nate Solis gave Team Gold their first lead of the night, Jacobs getting credit for the tally and lifting his team to a 3-2 advantage. Following a blocked shot at the blueline, Team Gold forward Ben Oakland walked in alone and helped his team to a 4-2 lead. Team Black didn’t take it lightly as they struck back nearly immediately when former Rochester Grizzlies forward and current Austin Bruins tender Peyton Hart lit the lamp off a feed from Nate Albers to make it 4-3. Shortly after the game’s seventh goal, near the halfway mark of the period, both team’s made a goaltender switch. In for Team Gold was Zachary Foster replacing Hodges, while Shane Soderwall took over for Team Black filling-the spot held by Hansen. The new goalies kept their opponents off the score sheet and after 40 minutes of play, team Gold led 4-3.
In the third period, neither team was able to crack the score sheet but much like the Bruins All-Star Game in July, there were fireworks. Team Black’s Nate Albers and Team Gold’s Bielenberg-Howarth went toe-to-toe in a back-and-forth-fight. With the five-minute fighting major, each player would complete two-thirds of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, just missing out on scoring a goal to complete the feat.
At the final buzzer, Team Gold took the 4-3 victory over Team Black. It was also Team Gold who won the shot battle as well, outshooting their opponents 38-24.