Junior hockey: Balanced Bruins notch important road 'W'
RICHFIELD — The Austin Bruins turned in a dominant performance Wednesday night and their University of Minnesota-bound goaltender did what he always does — stop the puck.
Nick Lehr made 23 saves and four players scored once each as the Bruins beat the Minnesota Magicians 4-1 in a North American Hockey League game.
The Bruins improved to 34-17-1 overall this season and they maintain a five-point lead over Aberdeen atop the Central Division standings. Aberdeen beat third-place Bismarck 5-4 on Wednesday to drop Bismarck nine points back of Austin.
Austin outshot the Magicians (18-27-6) in every period and 38-24 in the game.
The Bruins never trailed in the game, though there was no scoring in the first 23 minutes. Alex Petersson finally got the scoring started for the Bruins 3:24 into the second period.
Tony Uglem tied it for the Magicians at the 12:25 mark of the second period with a short-handed goal. The score wasn't tied for long, though, as Guillaume Leclerc scored the game-winning goal 54 seconds later.
Niko Hildenbrand scored an unassisted short-handed goal at 10:40 of the third period and then set up Casey Jerry just more than three minutes later for another insurance goal.
The Bruins will now travel to Minot for a two-game series against the division rival Minotauros on Friday and Saturday at 7:35 p.m. both nights.
Bruins 4, Magicians 1
First period— no scoring. Second period— 1. A, Alex Pettersson (Joe Schuldt) 3:24. 2. M, Tony Uglem (Paul O'Connor) 12:25 (sh). 3. A, Guillaume Leclerc (Jay Dickman, Lucas Kohls) 13:19. Third period— 4. A, Niko Hildenbrand (unassisted) 10:40 (sh). 5. Casey Jerry (Cory Dunn, Hildenbrand) 14:18.
Shots on goal— A 13-14-11—38, M 6-10-8—24. Goalies— A, Nick Lehr (W, 30-12-1; 23 saves); M, Atte Tolvanen (L, 11-21-3; 34 saves). Power-play opportunities— A, 0-for-3; M, 0-for-6. Penalties— A, 6-12 minutes; M, 3-6 minutes.