Blizzard hold off Bruins, 5-4

AUSTIN, Minn. – Josh Boyer scored on assist from Doug Larson in overtime after Brookings lost a three-goal lead in the third period as the Blizzard beat the Austin Bruins 5-4 in an NAHL Central Division contest Saturday at Riverside Arena.

Austin’s Andy Willis opened the scoring 5 1/2 minutes into the game before Brookings countered with four consecutive goals.

Max Sasson lit the lamp midway through the first on assists from Cameron Teamor and Brendan Aird.

In the second, Ben Perkins and Josh Boyer both found the back of the net. Aird, Brock Draeger, Vince Marino and Parker Revering picked up assists.

Jimmy Alser added a goal in the in the third –  Cam Babiak and Revering assisted – to push the margin to 4-1.

The Bruins came storming back with Dante Zapata (14:10), Travis Kothenbeutel (12:20) and Alex Mella (12:01) scoring in a span of 2 minutes, 9 seconds to knot the score at 4-all.

Adam Brizgala made 38 saves to earn the win in goal. Austin’s Alex Schilling stopped 20 shots.

The Bruins outshot the Blizzard 42-25, but Brookings went 3-for-6 on the power play and Austin was 0-for-3.

Austin’s Dante Sheriff had three assists and Devon Fields added two.

Brookings (20-26-2-4) plays host to the Aberdeen Wings on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Notes: Aberdeen has clinched a playoff berth. … The regular season is 60 games. … The top four teams in the Central Division qualify for the playoffs.

League standings – 1, Aberdeen Wings (33-15-3-1, 70 points); 2, Austin Bruins (28-16-3-4, 63 points); 3, MN Wilderness (26-21-2-3, 57 points); T4, Minot Minotauros (24-22-4-2, 54 points); T4, Bismarck Bobcats (24-24-4-2, 54 points); 6. Brookings Blizzard (20-26-2-4, 46 points).

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