The St. Cloud Norsemen finished off a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Austin Bruins Friday night with a 4-0 victory over the Bruins in Austin.
The Norsemen struggled to generate shots early in the contest, but were able to get the first goal of the game when Blake Perbix controlled the puck and skated all over the offensive zone before hitting Andrew Clarke with a pass. Clarke dangled around a couple opponents and fired a tough angle shot but the rebound came back to him. Clarke snapped another shot and this time the rebound kicked out to Perbix while Austin goalie Ethan Robertson was way out of position, all the way at the right side to square up to Clarke. Perbix deposited the puck into the left side of the net when Robertson was unable to slide over from left to right in time and St. Cloud took the lead 7:39 into the game. Despite not getting a lot of pucks to the net the Norsemen didn’t give up many looks early on either, with Austin getting the first period edge in shots on goal 5-3. The Bruins were able to generate more offense in the second, with an 11-5 shots on goal edge but Ethan Dahlmeier wouldn’t be beaten and St. Cloud took a 1-0 lead into the third.
That score would hold up with just seven minutes to play but a St. Cloud power play allowed the Norsemen an opportunity and Broten Sabo took a shot from the right circle that was blocked but he gathered his own rebound, hit Kade Peterson at the top of the umbrella, then skated over to the left circle. Peterson fed Sabo who then slid the puck to Clarke at the right circle and Clarke scored from there to make it a 2-0 game at the 13:04 mark. Robertson was victimized once more with less than three minutes to play when Jack Wandmacher dumped the puck deep from the left boards at the St. Cloud blue line and was tracked down by Hogan Sinjem. Sinjem created a turnover and passed to Nik Hong who had just come into the zone with speed and Sinjem quietly slipped over to the left circle and some soft ice. Hong from the right circle found Sinjem, who fired into the net before Robertson could slide over in time to make it a 3-0 game at 17:41. The last goal of the Norsemen’s was an empty netter when Dahlmeir made his 25th and final save on an Austin Salani shot from the right point and Wandmacher jumped on the rebound. He banked it high off the glass and the puck slid down the ice and split the goal posts down the middle with 49 seconds left in the contest to make the final 4-0.
Each team had 9 shots on goal in the third period and Austin outshot St. Cloud for the game 25-17 for the contest. The Norsemen went 1 for 5 on the Rambow power play and 4 for 4 on the Pantown Brewing penalty kill. Dahlmeir picked up the shutout which was his first of the 2022-23 season and fifth in his NAHL career and his assist on Wandmacher’s goal was his first NAHL point.
The Norsemen are back in action with a home game on Friday vs. the North Iowa Bulls. The game is the first of three in 44 hours with games two and three taking place in Mason City Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. You can still get tickets to Friday’s game at the MAC by purchasing tickets at: tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com.