Bruins use first period push to power past Bulls, keeping postseason hopes alive

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The Austin Bruins didn't waste any time bringing the intensity they needed to stay in the playoff chase as they put up four goals in the first 15 minutes of the game to beat the North Iowa Bulls 5-1 in Riverside Arena Friday night.

Ocean Wallace scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season in the first seven minutes to get Austin on the right track.

"We just had to stick to our gameplan," Wallace said. "It's an important time of year and we're pushing for a playoff spot. There is no better time to play the right way and try to get hot as a team."

Dylan Cook, a veteran forward from Princeton, passed out five assists in the win and he now has 33 assists on the season. Cook estimated it had been since high school or U18 hockey that he had five assists in a game, but the bigger number on his mind was how many wins it will take his team to earn a postseason berth.

"It's fun getting rewarded for hard work. But right now all we care about is those two points and pushing for a playoff berth," Cook said. "Getting the win was super important. We've got to understand that it's not where you start the season or how you are in the middle, but how you finish. These could be the last junior games for a lot of us and the opportunity to extend our season is in our hands. We've just got to come together as a team."

Trent Wiemken stopped 14 of 15 shots for Austin and Vigolt Holm stopped all three shots that he saw.

The Bruins (28-24-2-1 overall) have five games remaining in the regular season and they will all matter as the team is fighting to land a playoff spot.

"It just comes down to consistency and we've got to manage our highs and lows," Wallace said. "I don't think there's a better team than when we're playing our best."

Austin will play at North Iowa (11-42-0-2 overall) at 7:10 p.m. Saturday.


NI 1 0 0 — 1

Austin 4 1 0 — 5

First period

(A) Ocean Wallace (Ashton Bynum, Dylan Cook) 3:59

(A) Wallace (Cook, Bynum) 7:07

(A) Austin Salani (Cook) 12:31

(A) Gustav Noren (Salani, Cook) 14:20

(NI) Sangyeob Kim (Blake Ulve, Colten Gerken) 19:28

Second period

(A) Jackson Rilei (Cook, Giuseppe Fiorillo) 18:05

Third period

No scoring