AUSTIN — As most teams would appreciate their captain doing, Carson Riddle came through at crunch time again for the Austin Bruins on Friday night.
The fourth-year Bruin scored his seventh goal of the season with 1:45 to play in the third period, a goal that held up as the game winner in a 4-3 North American Hockey League victory against the Bismarck Bobcats at Riverside Arena.
At the time, Riddle's goal appeared to be an insurance goal — which it was — as it gave Austin a 4-2 lead. But the Bruins cashed in that insurance just 20 seconds later as Bismarck's Michael Neumeier scored his first goal of the season to pull his team back within one.
The Bobcats couldn't get the equalizer, though, as Bruins goalie Hudson Hodges made 25 saves, including 10 in the third period, to pick up the victory.
Defenseman John Larkin — a cousin of former Bruin and current Western Michigan University player Hugh Larkin — scored his first goal as a Bruin to give the team a 2-0 lead late in the first period. John Larkin was acquired by Austin this week in a trade that sent veteran blue-liner Frank Dovorany to Odessa (Texas).
Matys Brassard opened the scoring 7:38 into the game, giving Austin a 1-0 lead. Therien Thiesing also scored for the Bruins, and six players had one assist each.
The Bruins improve to 7-2-1 with the win and sit just two points back of first-place North Iowa in the NAHL Central Division.
Austin hosts Bismarck (2-9-0) again at 7 p.m. Saturday.