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Austin Bruins rally from five-goal deficit but come up just shy against Aberdeen

The Austin Bruins nearly dug out of a five-goal hole Saturday night, but they couldn't quite complete the comeback in a 5-4 loss to the Aberdeen Wings.

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Austin Bruins

AUSTIN — The Austin Bruins have played as well against the Aberdeen Wings this season as any team in the North American Hockey League.

But the Wings seem to find a way to fend off the Bruins just enough to escape with a victory.

That was the case again Saturday night at Riverside Arena, when the Wings built a 5-0 lead just 22 minutes into the game, only to see the Bruins storm back and score four consecutive goals.

Austin couldn’t find the equalizer, though, and Aberdeen hung on for a 5-4 win and a sweep of the two-game weekend series.

The Bruins’ furious rally Saturday came on the heels of Friday’s game in which they led 2-0 after two periods, only to see the Wings rally for five third-period goals in a 5-2 win.

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In six meetings with Aberdeen this season, Austin has suffered two one-goal losses, three two-goal losses (two of those including late empty-net goals), and one three-goal loss (in which Austin led 2-0 after two periods).

Saturday, Aberdeen scored 35 seconds into the game and never trailed. The Wings led 3-0 after one period, then extended the lead to 5-0 just 2:14 into the second on goals 1:11 apart by Nico DeVita and Payton Matsui.

Matsui’s goal chased Bruins starting goalie Tyler Shea, who made four saves on nine shots. Hudson Hodges replaced Shea at that point and it served as a wakeup call for the rest of the Bruins. Hodges stopped all 13 shots he faced.

The teams combined for 49 penalty minutes in the game, including 41 minutes in the second period. Austin was called for 25 of those minutes, with Braidan Simmons-Fischer receiving five for fighting and minors for high sticking and instigating; and Reggie Millette receiving a minor for boarding and a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The Bruins shook that off, though, to have a big third period.

Connor Mylymok got the Bruins on the board four minutes later, making it 5-1 after two periods.

Mylymok scored again 5:30 into the third, then Ben Dexheimer notched his second of the season 1:36 later to pull Austin within 5-3.

The Bruins pulled within a goal when Peter Jacobs scored with 2:23 to play, but Austin couldn’t get another one past Wings goalie Zakari Brice (25 saves).

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Austin has a three-game week this week, all on the road. The Bruins play at the Chippewa Steel on Wednedsay, then play a two-game set at Aberdeen on Friday and Saturday.

WINGS 5, BRUINS 4

Aberdeen 3-2-0—5

Austin 0-1-3—4

Aberdeen: Nico DeVita 1 goal, 1 assist; Trevor Russell 1 assist; Clayton Cosentino 2 assists; Spencer Schneider 1 goal; Payton Matsui 2 goals; Thomas Manty 1 assist; Jordan Randall 1 assist; Marshall Walker 1 assist; Cade Neilson 1 goal, 1 assist. Goalie: Zakari Brice 25 saves (29 shots).

Austin: Travis Shoudy 3 assists; Ben Dexheimer 1 goal, 1 assist; Mason Poolman 1 assist; Nick Catalano 1 assist; Ben Oakland 1 assist; Connor Mylymok 2 goals; Peter Jacobs 1 goal. Goalies: Tyler Shea 4 saves (9 shots); Hudson Hodges 13 saves (13 shots).

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