Bruins go toe-to-toe with defending division champs, fall in shootout
The Austin Bruins didn't trail until a shootout Friday night, falling to defending NAHL Central Division champion St. Cloud, at St. Cloud. Austin plays its first home game of the regular season Saturday night.
ST. CLOUD — The Austin Bruins never trailed throughout the 60 minutes of regulation Friday night.
They didn't trail during the five-minute overtime, either.
But the Bruins left here with just one point in the North American Hockey League Central Division standings after a 4-3 shootout loss to the St. Cloud Norsemen, the defending division regular-season and postseason champions.
Austin (4-0-1 overall), which went undefeated in four games at last week's NAHL Showcase, still sits atop the division standings, two points up on the Norsemen, who rallied from a two-goal deficit Friday on their home ice to force overtime, then to see veteran forward Kade Peterson win the game with a shootout goal.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, when Walter Zacher and Jackson Luther scored just 13 seconds apart. Zacher's goal was his third of the young season, while Luther's was his first as a Bruin.
Austin led 2-1 after one, after Peterson pulled the Norsemen within 2-1 on a power-play goal with 2:16 to go in the first.
Lakeville South alum Jack Malinski put Austin back up by two with his first goal of the season, an unassisted short-handed goal 3:05 into the second. But St. Cloud made it 3-2 on a Nik Hong goal with 2:11 to play in the second.
Peterson then forced overtime on a goal with just 1:37 to play in the third period, before he won it in the shootout.