December 6, 2017 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins are the hottest team in the NAHL - winners of 7 straight and 9 of 10 overall. They have points in all ten games since the month of November began. They lead the Central Division with 30 points - two ahead of Aberdeen and four ahead of Bismarck and Brookings - whom they play a home-and-home with this weekend.
Brookings has been a menace to the Bruins, who have won just one of five meetings so far this season. The Blizzard swept a three-game set October 25th, 27th, and 28th, which set off the current Bruins hot-streak.
The Bruins are coming off a road sweep in Bismarck, completing a 4-0 season series at the Bobcats' home Arena (VFW Sports Center). The weekend series featured two thrilling games, highlighted by Jaden Shields' first four NAHL goals. Trailing 2-1 with less than six minutes remaining on Friday, Shields scored from the point to tie the game, and then followed with the game winner with just 17 seconds to go, as the Bruins stole a 3-2 win.
Saturday's game was a higher scoring affair, with the Bruins coming out on top, 8-6. They trailed 4-2 at the end of one period despite goals by Shields and Andy Willis, who finished the weekend with seven points (one goal, six assists). Newcomer Dante Sheriff and defenseman Dan Petrick scored in the second period to tie the game. Down 5-4 in the 3rd, the Bruins received a three-minute power play and scored four times to turn the game in their favor. The outburst caused Bismarck assistant coach Garrett Roth to throw a fit, launching sticks onto the ice. A fan video of the incident has since gone viral.
Shields was named the NAHL's Central Division First Star of the Week.
Friday's game is in Brookings at 7:05 with Saturday's weekend finale at Riverside Arena - also at 7:05. All players and coaches participating in this weekend's Packer Classic Squirt Tournament are eligible for $5 tickets at the door. Fans can purchase general admission tickets for $4 off the door price at Hy Vee, Jim's Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn. The Bruins and Sears Hometown Store are also raffling off a Craftsman 24" Snowblower with proceeds benefiting the Austin Bruins Foundation.