Smith nets game winner as Bruins win in a shootoutPublished 10:35pm Saturday, February 2, 2013
Austin goalie Jason Pawloski had no idea that he would be playing on Paint the Rink Pink Night and Bruins forward CJ Smith had no idea he was attempting the game-winning goal, but both of them came up big in a 2-1 shootout win over the Brookings Blizzard in Riverside Arena Saturday.
Austin goalie Nick Lehr, who finished with 25 saves, allowed goals on the first two shots of the shootout and Austin trailed 2-0 when Bruins head coach Chris Tok decided to give Pawloski a chance.
“I saw Nick was backing in and you could tell he wasn’t comfortable,” Tok said. “We said let’s put Jason in and if they score, so what. If they don’t score, maybe it gives our guys a boost. It worked.”
Pawloski stopped all three shots he saw in the shootout, including two on kick saves. His last save looked to be a goal for the Blizzard (24-15-3 overall) as Eetu Karvinen pulled off a spin move to create some separation as he fired off a slap shot that Palowski kicked away with his left leg.
“Once he got it turned around I knew what move he was gonna do and I just stretched out,” Pawloski said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a rush like this in hockey.”
Pawloski had his grandmother pass away on Thursday, but he was able to step up and help Lehr out of a tough spot.
“(The passing) is obviously in the back of your mind, but you just have to push it off and deal with it later,” Pawloski said. “(Nick and I) are real close and that wasn’t on him. He played a great game and kept us in it. I didn’t really deserve the win.”
As Pawloski was making his saves, AJ Reid and Brandon Wahlin each scored to tie up the shootout. CJ Smith, who is still in high school, just like Pawloski, sealed the deal when he scored a goal.
No one was more surprised by the final score than Smith.
“I had no idea that if I scored I won. When I saw the guys skate towards me it felt pretty good. I thought I had to score to keep it alive,” Smith said. “It felt really good to win for Brandon (Wahlin), Jason (Pawloski) and (Chris) Fischer. It was really important to win for those guys who have been affected by cancer.”
Austin had trailed 1-0 for most of the night until Reid powered through and scored with 6:41 left in regulation. The Bruins (32-7-5 overall) fired off 40 shots on goal, but Brookings goalie Drew Weigman stopped most of them.
“Their goalie played well, but in my opinion, we put too many shots on his gloves where he could end plays,” Tok said. “Our bread and butter has been getting shots on net where we can second and third shots.”
Brookings 1 0 0 0 0 – 1
Austin 0 0 1 0 1 – 2
(B) Evan Hesse (powerplay) (Eric Brenk, Tyler Cayemberg) 19:48
(A) AJ Reid (Joey Caprio) 13:19
Shots: Austin – 40; Brookings – 26
Powerplays: Austin – 0-for-5; Brookings – 1-for-7