Bruins, red-hot Robertson sweep their way to perfect record at NAHL Showcase
Ethan Robertson allowed just one goal per game in his three starts at the North American Hockey League Showcase this week in Blaine. The Bruins won all three of those games, as well as the one in which Robertson did not play, to finish the annual season-opening Showcase with a perfect 4-0 record.
BLAINE, Minn. — Just four games into the season, the Austin Bruins are 4-0 and one of four remaining undefeated teams in the North American Hockey League.
Veteran goalie Ethan Robertson is a major reason why the Bruins are off to a perfect start.
The 20-year-old from Courtice, Ontario, has been nearly as perfect as his team's record in the new season. Robertson has stopped 86 of 89 shots faced in his three starts, allowing just one goal in each of them. He headed home to Austin — where the Bruins will play their regular-season home opener on Saturday, Sept. 24, against Central Division rival St. Cloud — with a 1.00 goals-against average and an impressive .966 save percentage.
Robertson was sharp again on Saturday in the Bruins' Showcase finale, stopping 25 of the 26 shots he faced as Austin beat the Chippewa Steel — who are coached by former Rochester Grizzlies head coach Casey Mignone — 3-1 at the NSC Super Rink in a battle of teams that entered the game without a loss this season.
Austin outshot Chippewa slightly, 28-26, and never trailed in a game that was scoreless after one period.
The Bruins (4-0-0) broke that tie early in the second period, when NAHL rookies Dylan Cook and Josh Giuliani scored 2:07 apart. Cook's goal — his second as a Bruin after just being added to the roster this week — opened the scoring 4:04 into the period. Giuliani added one at the 6:11 mark for a 2-0 lead; that goal held up as the game winner.
The Bruins maintained that two-goal lead into the third, but Chippewa (3-1-0 overall) pulled within a goal when Matthew Brille scored on a power play at the 8:11 mark. That's all the Steel would get, though, against Robertson and a stout Bruins defense that limited them to six shots on goal in the third period.
Bruins veteran forward Austin Salani sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 1:30 to play.
Austin joins the Janesville (Wis.) Jets, Amarillo (Texas) Wranglers and Oklahoma Warriors as the lone remaining unbeaten teams in the 29-team NAHL.
Austin is back in action Friday night, Sept. 23, at St. Cloud at 7 p.m., before the teams meet Saturday at Riverside Arena in Austin at 7:05 p.m.