Boys Hockey: Aus earns 300th coaching win as Warriors edge Buffalo 1-0
Brainerd Warrior head coach Dave Aus has attained hockey milestones with two different teams in the Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd. As a senior playing for Willmar High School, Aus helped the visiting Cardinals defeat Brainerd to clinc...
Brainerd Warrior head coach Dave Aus has attained hockey milestones with two different teams in the Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd.
As a senior playing for Willmar High School, Aus helped the visiting Cardinals defeat Brainerd to clinch the Central Lakes Conference title during the 1986-87 season.
Thursday, Jan. 3, Aus earned his 300th career high school coaching victory with a 1-0 win over the visiting Buffalo Bison.
"I had no idea so it was pretty cool when the coaches told me after the game," Aus said of the milestone he earned while coaching at Blaine and Brainerd schools. "When I started out (at Blaine) I was just hoping to get to three wins. We had a couple tough seasons. But it takes a lot of good players, good teams and good coaches to win 300 games."
The victory was also special for senior goaltender Jacob Mitchell, who stopped all 28 shots he faced. Mitchell had numerous close-range saves, including smothering the puck on a chance in front with 20 seconds remaining.
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Warriors 1, Buffalo 0
- The key: Brainerd senior goaltender Jacob Mitchell stopped all 28 shots he faced
- Overall: Brd 7-5, Buff 4-6-2
- Next: Brainerd at Roseau 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4
- For more photos go to https://bit.ly/2QkuTxq
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"I'm most happy for him," Aus said of Mitchell. "He was also outstanding against Buffalo (in a 4-2 win in the third-place game of the Duluth Marshall Tournament Dec. 29) and he was great tonight. He also had three shutouts last year."
Brainerd netted the only goal of the game at 9:43 of the first period when Mason Cruz skated along the boards and passed across to Anthony Menghini, who fired a shot past Mueller to make it 1-0. Eric Pohlkamp assisted on the even-strength tally.
The Bison did enjoy a 10-7 edge in shots in the first session and just missed netting the opening goal when forward Jack Olson blocked a close-range scoring attempt.
There was no scoring in the middle session, although both teams missed golden opportunities to score. Mitchell made two nice saves during a scramble in front of his net with 2:40 remaining. Bison goaltender Nathan Mueller then gloved a shot by the Warriors' Jaron Smith that was heading into the top corner of the net with 1:44 left in the period.
Mitchell made three big saves in the opening minutes of the third period, including robbing Nate Persson with a quick glove save. Mitchell also survived late scoring chances when Buffalo pulled its goal in the final minute for an extra skater.
Mueller also made key stops in the game and finished with 18 saves.
Buffalo 0 0 0-0
Brainerd 1 0 0-1
First period: Brd-Anthony Menghini (Mason Kruse, Eric Pohlkamp) 9:43
Second period: No scoring
Third period: No scoring
Shots on goal: Brd 19, Buff 28
Goalies: Brd-Jacob Mitchell (28 saves); Buff-Nathan Mueller (18 saves).