Bruins suffer rare shutout loss on Paint the Rink Pink Night

Published 10:20 pm Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Austin Bruins had the crowd, the push and the intensity, but they couldn’t get a goal as they lost to the North Iowa Bulls 2-0 on Paint the Rink Pink Night in Riverside Arena Saturday.

The Bruins (25-9-3-4 overall) owned the shot advantage by a count of 32-16 on the night, but it didn’t matter as they couldn’t get on the board. This is just the second time the Bruins have been shutout in the year 2023.

It’s really frustrating,” Bruins captain Jack Malinski said. “We had our chances and we just couldn’t capitalize. You’re not going to win if you can’t score a goal.”

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After nearly two periods of scoreless and physical hockey, with a few fights mixed in, the Bulls (18-18-2-1 overall) broke into the scoring column first when Blake Ulve connected on a shot late in the second.

The Bulls added to that lead when Jackson Bisson scored a transition goal to make it 2-0 with 8:58 left in the game.

“They got a power play goal and on that last goal they just beat us up the ice after a shot block. Unfortunately, that’s the way the story ended,” Austin Bruins head coach Steve Howard said. 

This is the fifth Paint the Rink Pink game for Howard and he was pleased with the crowd and all of the funds raised to fight cancer, but he wished his team would’ve been able to pull off a win.

“The funny thing about pink night is that North Iowa doesn’t have anything to lose. They just want to come in and spoil our night,” Howard said. “We made their goalie look good. He made some big saves, but when you’re getting in alone and the puck is going into the netting, something’s off. They’re trying to score a pretty goal and that’s what they needed.”

Mitch Day of North Iowa stopped every shot he saw, just one day five goals on 40 shots in a loss to Austin in Mason City.

Ethan Robertson had 14 saves for Austin.

While they didn’t win, Malinski was appreciative of the crowd turnout and the event itself, which featured a pink sheet of ice and plenty of fans decked out in pink.

“The atmosphere is one of the best I’ve ever played in,” Malinski said. “Our fans are awesome and they support us. This game was all about cancer research and it’s awesome to see all of the support behind us. It’s more than just a game.”


NI 0 1 1  – 2

Austin 0 0 0  – 0

First period

No scoring

Second period

(NI) Blake Ulve (Logan Dombrowsky) (power play) 18:02

Third period

(NI) Jackson Bisson (Nolan Abraham) 11:03

Shots: Austin – 32; North Iowa – 16

Power plays: North Iowa – 1-for-3; Austin – 0-for-3