Wahlin grabs career scoring mark as Bruins rally past ChillPublished 10:14pm Monday, December 31, 2012
It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for the Austin Bruins.
Their head coach was ejected for the first time since he took over the Bruins three years ago, Austin allowed a breakaway shorthanded goal to fall behind and Coulee Region was thinking upset with a one-goal lead heading into the third period.
Then Brandon Wahlin made his move that propelled Austin to a 6-3 win over the Chill (8-19-5 overall) in Riverside Arena Monday.
Wahlin drilled a powerplay slap-shot early in the third period to tie the game, Chris Fischer gave Austin a 4-3 lead on a one-timer and Wahlin put away the game with his third, and most impressive, goal of the night to make it 5-3 11:10 left in the game.
Wahlin’s final goal saw him skate past a defender and pin a slap shot over the shoulder over Coulee’s goalie and it also made him Austin’s all-time leading scorer with 96 career points.
“It feels great,” said Wahlin, who passed former Bruin Charlie Adams for the top spot. “My whole family was here tonight and I’m glad I could put on a show for them.”
Austin’s flurry came after head coach Chris Tok was ejected from the game halfway through the second period. Tok, who watched the remainder of the game from the sideline, was a little confused as to why he had to leave the game.
“I’m not sure what he threw me for,” Tok said. “He gave me a bench penalty and I was fine with that, but I was shocked when he threw me. I’ve berated some officials pretty good and not gotten a penalty before. Maybe he’s just sensitive, I don’t know.”
Tok wasn’t able to speak to the team after a second period where Coulee scored three goals on seven shots and took a 3-2 lead. But Wahlin said the team knew exactly what their coach would’ve said to them.
He also said the team had plenty of motivation to get back in the game.
“We knew this ref coming in doesn’t like us very much and we knew had to play through it,” Wahlin said. “Unfortunately coach got kicked out but we kind of rallied around it and said ‘screw this ref, let’s take care of business.’”
After leaving the game, Tok didn’t let frustration get the best of him as he looked at his team from another perspective and saw some adjustments that can be made in the future.
“t is tough to watch, but it’s also interesting,” he said. “I was noticing some things with our defensive zone that you don’t always catch when you’re coaching. We’ve got some things to work on.”
Jason Pawloski picked up his seventh win of the year in net for Austin (24-5-4 overall) as he stopped 12 shots.
Coulee 0 3 0 — 3
Bruins 0 2 4 — 6
(A) Brandon Wahlin (powerplay) (Cody Dixon) 0:23
(C) Jake Kappila (powerplay) (Derek O’Flynn, Brady Riesgraf) 11:25
(C) Mac Jansen (Hunter Anderson, Sean Lang) 11:38
(A) Kody Reuter (AJ Reid, CJ Smith) 17:33
(C) Eddie Matsushima (shorthanded) 18:24
(A) Wahlin (powerplay) (Reid, Dixon) 4:11
(A) Fischer (Reid, Smith) 9:17
(A) Wahlin (Drew Anderson) 9:50
(A) Smith (Fischer, Scott Nelson) 16:52
Shots: Austin — 43; Coulee — 15
Powerplays: Austin — 2-for-6; Coulee — 1-for-4