AP NEWS

Junior hockey: Bruins fall to Bismarck in battle for playoff positioning

March 24, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. — The Austin Bruins held a lead midway through the third period and were tied into the final three mintues of Friday’s game. But the Bismarck Bobcats scored with 2:13 to go to pull out a 3-2 North American Hockey League victory and gain two precious points in the Central Division standings.

Austin (30-18-6) dropped into fourth place in the division, though it is just one point back of third-place Bismarck (31-18-5) and two points back of second-place Minot (33-20-2).

The Bruins didn’t trail until Pollock scored the winner late in the third period.

Austin led 1-0 after one on Hugh Larkin’s 20th goal of the season. Tim Piechowski scored in the second to tie it for the Bobcats.

The Bruins regained the lead just 1:12 into the third on a Dante Zapata goal, but the Bobcats tied it eight minutes later on a goal by Austin Jouppi.

Austin outshot Bismarck 33-26, but John Roberts made 31 saves for Bismarck, which is unbeaten in its last 15 games (11-0-4).

The teams play again tonight in Bismarck at 7:15 p.m.

BOBCATS 3, BRUINS 2

Austin 1 0 1 — 2

Bismarck 0 1 2 — 3

Austin: Hugh Larkin 1 goal; Dante Zapata 1 goal; Jed Pietila 1 assist; Jared Christy 1 assist; Kyle Herbster 1 assist. Goalie: Kyle McClellan 23 saves (26 shots).

Bismarck: Tim Piechowski 1 goal; Austin Jouppi 1 goal; Alex Pollock 1 goal; Adam Stacho 2 assists; Jacob Marti 1 assist; Willy Stauber 1 assist; Sam Malinski 1 assist. Goalie: John Roberts 31 saves (33 shots).