AUSTIN — Three games into their season, there's a reasonable chance the Austin Bruins won't get another look at Riverside Arena for the foreseeable future.
If that's the case — if the newly implemented restrictions that shut down hockey rinks in Minnesota keep junior hockey teams from playing for at least the next four weeks — then the Bruins will go into that shutdown having made a good impression.
Barrett Brooks and Alex Trombley scored in a shootout Friday night, and Tyler Shea stopped two of the three shooters he faced to lift the Bruins to a 3-2 North American Hockey League victory against the Minnesota Wilderness at Riverside Arena.
The win keeps the Bruins unbeaten early this season, with a 2-0-1 record, as they head to Janesville, Wis., for games against the Janesville Jets on Saturday and Sunday.
Jacob Herter staked the Wilderness to a 1-0 lead after one period, but Austin responded in the second period.
A pair of NAHL rookies, Walter Zacher and Sutter Muzzatti, scored 70 seconds apart early in the period to take the Bruins from one goal down to one goal ahead. Zacher's goal, his third of the season, came just 58 seconds into the period. Muzzatti followed that by putting back a rebound for his first NAHL goal just 70 seconds later.
Trombley, Carson Riddle, Camden Gallagher and Hunter Olson collected one assist each for the Bruins, who received 23 saves from Shea, and outshot the Wilderness 31-25. Shea and the Bruins' penalty killers held off the Wilderness during a 75-second 5-on-3 advantage in the third period, as well.
Wilderness (1-1-1) goalie Kaleb Johnson, a University of North Dakota commit, made 29 stops, but he couldn't stop Trombley (Ohio State) or Brooks (Western Michigan) in the shootout.
Following this weekend's games at Janesville, Bruins officials said the team's schedule is undetermined as the team and the NAHL deal with the rink and sports shutdowns across the state.
BRUINS 4, WILDERNESS 3, SO
(Bruins win shootout 2-1)
Minnesota 1 0 1 0 0 — 2
Austin 0 2 0 0 1 — 3
First period — 1. MW, Jacob Herter 1 (Hunter Hastings 1, Sam Olson 1) 8:53. Second period — 2. AUS, Walter Zacher 3 (Alex Trombley 2, Carson Riddle 1) :58. 3. AUS, Sutter Muzzatti 1 (Camden Gallagher 1, Hunter Olson 1) 2:08. Third period — 4. MW, Ethan Wolthers 1 (Will Traeger 2, Dakota Zarudny 1) :55. Overtime — no scoring.
Shootout — MW: Grant Doctor G, Hastings NG, Traeger NG; AUS: Zacher NG, Brooks G, Trombley G.
Shots on goal — MW 4-9-9-3—25; AUS 10-7-12-2—31. Goalies — MW, Kaleb Johnson (SOL, 0-1-1; 29 saves-31 shots); AUS, Tyler Shea (W, 2-0-1; 23 saves-25 shots). Power-play opportunities — MW 0-for-4; AUS 0-for-4. Penalties — MW, 4-8 minutes; AUS, 4-8 minutes.
Attendance — 250. Time of game — 2:25.