BLAINE — The Austin Bruins turned a tie game into a blowout in the snap of fingers Thursday night.
Austin scored three times in the final 66 seconds of the opening period to turn a tie score into a three-goal lead. The Bruins tacked on one more in the third period and goalie Hudson Hodges turned in his second strong start in as many days as Austin defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5-2 on Day 2 of the North American Hockey League Showcase.
The Bruins (2-0-0 overall) are one of just nine teams in the 29-team NAHL who remain unbeaten.
After Austin's Carson Riddle and Fairbanks' Jack Ring traded first-period goals, Callaway, Minn., native Jens Richards put the Bruins up for good with 1:06 to go in the first, when he scored on a power play. Just 17 seconds later, Nick Catalano scored his first goal as a Bruin, a goal that held up as the game winner and made the score 3-1 at the time. Then, with just 4 seconds remaining in the opening period, defenseman Liam Whitehouse scored his first goal as a Bruin to make it 4-1.
Fairbanks cut its deficit to 4-2 on a Zach Murray goal with five minutes to go in the second.
The Bruins sealed the victory with 7:04 remaining when Catalano, a native of suburban Milwaukee, scored his second goal of the game to make it 5-2.
The Bruins outshot Fairbanks 34-17 in the game, and Hodges made 15 saves to earn his second consecutive victory in goal.
Matys Brassard had two assists in the win, while Division I college commits Riddle (Western Michigan), Sutter Muzzatti (RPI), Braidan Simmons-Fischer (Western Michigan) and Frank Dovorany (Michigan Tech) had one assist each.
The Bruins have a quick turnaround for their Showcase game on Friday — the third of four games in four days to open their season — when they play the New Jersey Titans at 11:15 a.m.