Defending the Den: Wiemken has emerged as the Bruins’ top goalie

Published 4:48 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

When Trent Wiemken arrived in Austin for a team camp in the summer of 2022, he was just trying to make the team. Now he’s trying to help the Bruins win their first ever Robertson Cup.

Wiemken, a goalie from Fargo, North Dakota, arrived in Austin based on a tip from Rochester Grizzlies head coach Tyler Veen, who is from West Fargo in an open tryout and he was turning the heads of the coaching staff from the start. Wiemken had a good minicamp and it wasn’t long before he found himself as the team’s back up goalie.

“I can’t believe it happened like that,” Wiemken said. “Anytime you get a chance, you’ve got to make the most of it and give it your all. I knew I wasn’t going to get a whole lot of chances earlier in the year, because (former Bruin) Ethan Robertson was awesome and he’s at Canisius (College) now. I tried to run with it and play the best I could.”

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It’s been five months since Wiemken stopped a penalty shot to keep the Bruins in the fight for a Robertson Cup title, but a late goal by the Oklahoma Warriors ultimately left Wiemken and the Bruins hungry for more.

Wiemken, who stopped that penalty shot with 13 minutes left in the title game, allowed a power play goal with 3:37 before having to watch the Warriors celebrate an NAHL title that was so close yet so far away. Now, Wiemken is back and better than ever as he and the Bruins are still chasing their first ever Robertson Cup title.

“It was heartbreaking for all of us. We were three minutes away from winning the Robertson Cup or at least going to overtime,” Wiemken said. “We remember that and it motivates us a ton. We know what to do each day and how to get back to that point.”

The Bruins have 15 players back from that team and they are off to a hot start this season, having won eight of their first ten games.

“We’re showing the new guys what it takes to be successful in this league,”

Wiemken said. “We’ve just got to bring it each night.”

Wiemken is 6-2 this season with a save percentage of 92.8 and he has a goals against average of 1.88. Last season, he went 18-6-2-3 overall with a save percentage of 91.7 and a goals against average of 2.047. In the postseason, he was the team’s top goalie with an 8-2-1 overall record.

While his play has improved this season, Wiemken hasn’t begun counting his accomplishments yet. In fact, he goes into every game with a clean slate when he gets in the net.

“I just try to focus on one play at a time and I’m never thinking too far ahead or thinking about the past,” Wiemken said.

Before coming to the Bruins, Wiemken played for Fargo Davies High School and Team North Dakota 18U AAA.

“Just about everyone plays hockey in Fargo and I had an awesome high school team and we made a state championship run in my senior year,” Wiemken said. “That’s really when my love for hockey grew during my sophomore to senior year, and now I’m playing junior hockey in the State of Hockey and that’s awesome. Hockey has been my life and a lot of my family’s life since I can remember.”

Austin will be back in Riverside Arena and it will host Minot on Oct. 27-28, with both games starting at 7 p.m.