The Aberdeen Wings dropped their first of four consecutive matches against the Austin Bruins Friday night inside Riverside Arena in Austin, getting shutout 3-0.
Austin got on the board at the 12:01 mark of the first period on a power play goal from Jens Richards. Just under three minutes later and on the power play, the Wings allowed a shorthanded goal from Anthony Menghini at the 15:50 mark. The Bruins outshot the Wings 9-7, and those two extra shots were enough to take the two-goal lead after 20 minutes of hockey.
The Bruins went on the power play again near the middle of the second period and got their second power play goal of the night when Menghini got his second of the game. Aberdeen had several good looks but Bruins netminder Klayton Knapp was solid between the pipes, keeping the Wings off the board. Austin once again edged out the Wings in shots on goal, this time 8-7.
Aberdeen had a big scoring chance when Patrick O’Connell was awarded a penalty shot early in the third period, but the puck rolled off his stick just before the shot and Knapp kept the three-goal lead for his team. Both teams had good scoring opportunities in the final period, with Wings goaltender Anton Castro coming up big several times, but after outshooting Austin 11-9, neither team got a goal and the Bruins grabbed the 3-0 win, clinching a 2022 Robertson Cup playoff spot in the process.
Overall, Austin edged out the Wings in shots on goal, taking 26 while allowing Aberdeen 25. The Bruins went 2-3 on the power play while holding the Wings to 0-2.
Aberdeen (30-22-3-2) remains in second place in the Central Division, while Austin (29-23-2-3) sits in third, moving to four points ahead of fourth-place Minot Minotauros, who lost Friday night to top-ranked St. Cloud. The Bismarck Bobcats won their second in a row, downing the North Iowa Bulls to stay in fifth place in the standings, now just three points behind Minot. With three games left in the regular season, the fourth playoff spot is still undecided.
Aberdeen will look for revenge on the Bruins Saturday night inside Riverside Arena, with a 7 p.m. scheduled puck drop. Fans can watch the game using their HockeyTV login or catch the action at Buffalo Wings & Rings in Aberdeen, the official home for all Wings away games. The game’s audio is broadcast via Hub City Radio’s 94.1 The Rock.
The Wings will return to the Odde Ice Center next weekend to finish the regular season on home ice, once again facing the Bruins. Stay tuned to AberdeenWings.com or follow along on social media for gameday information.