Nov. 5—AUSTIN — The Austin Bruins have already proven to be a difficult team to beat over the past season-plus in the North American Hockey League.
If Saturday night is an indication of where the Bruins' power play is headed, they'll become even more difficult to beat.
The Bruins entered the game against NAHL Central Division rival Bismarck scoring on just more than 13% of their power-play opportunities this season. Saturday, Austin scored on three of its first four power-play chances and finished the night 3-for-6 with a man advantage, en route to a 4-1 win against the Bobcats at Riverside Arena.
Third-year Bruin and team captain Austin Salani opened the scoring 6:45 into the second period, notching his team best eighth goal of the season. The Bobcats took another penalty 1:11 later and the Bruins cashed in almost immediately, as Alex Laurenza scored his fifth of the year to give Austin a 2-0 lead after two.
Bismarck's Ian Engel went to the penalty box 6:56 into the third period and Austin used nearly the entirety of that power-play to score again, this time Will Diamond converting with :12 to go in the man advantage. Diamond's third goal of the year gave Austin a 3-0 lead.
Evan Hunter got Bismarck on the board with 8:57 to play in the third, but that was it for the Bobcats offensively.
Austin's Gustav Noren added an empty-net goal with just 7 seconds to play to cap the scoring.
Austin (12-3-1 overall) now has a two-point lead in the Central Division standings over Minot (11-3-1). The Bruins play at Minot on Friday and Saturday, before returning home for a four-game homestand to close November.
BOX SCORE: Austin Bruins 4, Bismarck Bobcats 1