Junior hockey: Austin Bruins pull into tie for first place

BROOKINGS, S.D. — The Austin Bruins hit the road for a NAHL Central Division game for the first time this season on Friday.

They had a happy ride home after a 3-2 victory against the Brookings Blizzard, leaving the teams tied atop the division standings with 12 points.

John Simonson scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season at the 15:44 mark of the third period to clinch the victory. Simonson's power-play goal was assisted by Brandon Wahlin and Scott Nelson.

The Bruins (6-2-0, 12 points) led 2-0 after one period, thanks to goals from Cody Dixon and Wahlin, who had a three-point night.

Brookings (6-3-0, 12 points) cut its deficit in half in the second period when Thomas Williams scored on a power play.


The Blizzard made the final minute interesting. Micah Ranum scored an extra-attacker goal with 16 seconds remaining, but time ran out on their comeback attempt.

Austin's Jason Pawloski got his second start in goal this season and he made the most of it. The 16-year-old from Omaha stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced, including 27 over the final two periods.

Brookings outshot Austin, 32-31, in the game. Blizzard goalie Drew Weigman made 28 saves.

Austin is back in action at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Riverside Arena against defending division champion Bismarck. Brookings plays host to Coulee Region at 1 p.m. today.

Bruins 3, Blizzard 2



First period— 1. AUS, Cody Dixon 4 (AJ Reid 6, Brandon Wahlin 8) 8:26. 2. AUS, Wahlin 3 (Austin Nelson 2, Riley Colvard 1) 10:02.


Second period— 3. BRK, Thomas Williams 7 (Justin Moody 2, Nick DeCenzo 4) 3:42 (pp).

Third period— 4. AUS, John Simonson 6 (Wahlin 9, Scott Nelson 1) 15:44 (pp). 5. BRK, Micah Ranum 2 (Justin Moody 3, Drew Brevig 5) 19:44 (ea).

Shots on goal— AUS 15-7-9—31, BRK 3-14-15—32. Goalies— AUS, Jason Pawloski (W, 2-0-0; 30 saves); BRK, Drew Weigman (L, 3-2-0; 28 saves). Power-play opportunities— AUS, 1-for-3; BRK, 1-for-2. Penalties— AUS, 5-23 minutes; BRK, 5-15 minutes.

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