Bruins blow out Wichita Falls in season opener
The Austin Bruins had waited nearly five months to play a game that counts. They made the most of their opportunity on Wednesday.
BLAINE — The off-season felt a little long to the Austin Bruins.
After narrowly missing out on the North American Hockey League playoffs a year ago, the Bruins had some extra time to stew on it.
They took their frustrations out on Wichita Falls on Wednesday night at the North American Hockey League Showcase.
Jens Richards scored twice, 10 Bruins players recorded at least a point and Hudson Hodges stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced in a 6-1 route of the Warriors in the season opener for both teams.
Austin (1-0-0) controlled play from start to finish, outshooting its opponent from Texas 44-16 in the game, including 13-8 in the first period and a dominant 21-5 in the second.
The score was tied 1-1 after one, as Richards and the Warriors’ Riley Brueck traded goals.
Austin broke things open in the second, peppering Warriors goalie Daniel Duris with 21 shots and scoring on three of them. Dylan Gajewski scored the game winner just 29 seconds into the second, captain Carson Riddle botched his first of the year six minutes later and Richards scored his second of the night with 1:01 to go in the period, on a power play.
Alex Trombley and Frank Dovorany added a goal each in the third period to cap the scoring.
Rookie forward Austin Salani had two assists in his Bruins debut, while Riddle, Xavier Jean-Louis, Marian Haborak, Jack Malinski and Sutter Muzzatti had an assist each.
Jean-Louis, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound NAHL rookie from Canada, led the team with a game-high six shots on goal.
Austin is back in action at the Showcase on Thursday against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, at 5:15 p.m.
BOX SCORE: Austin Bruins 6, Wichita Falls 1