by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Bismarck, ND – For the first time in franchise history the Minotauros are on the brink of advancing to the second round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. After taking Game One on Friday night in Minot’s Maysa Arena, the Tauros went to Bismarck for Game Two and as they had five out of six tries in the regular season defeated the Bobcats at the VFW Sports Center to take a 2-0 series lead.
Jake Howie opened the scoring for the Tauros midway through the first when he ripped a wrist shot into the top corner of the net finding what little space Bobcat goaltender Hunter Shepard had left there. Just over a minute after Howie gave the Tauros the lead however Harrison Aide set up Oskars Batna for a tap in to even the game.
The Tauros took their second lead of the night early in the second when James Mathias converted on the power play. Mathias touched home a cross crease feed from Christian Mohs who drove the net from the corner before finding Mathias on the back post. Just as they did in the first period however the Bobcats evened the score when Evan Giesler tucked a rebound past Atte Tolvanen to tie the game at two a side.
The game remained tied until late into the third when Casey Johnson was sent to the box for slashing. The Tauros penalty kill clamped down and gave the Bobcats little. Then about a minute into the power play Jon Lizotte cleared the puck into the neutral zone where Mathias found it and drew two defenders before feeding John Snodgrass into the Bobcat zone. Snodgrass showed tremendous patience as he cut from left to right waiting to shoot until he had pulled both Tanner Salsberry and Shepard out of position. The shorthanded goal gave the Tauros a 3-2 lead which they would not relinquish. Colton Kramer added an empty net goal to push the final to 4-2.
The series returns to the Maysa Arena on Friday night for Game Three (tickets), if the Tauros win on Friday they will advance to the second round. Tuesday will be the Minotauros inaugural awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Riverside in Minot. Admission is $20 ($15 for billets and season ticket holders) and includes dinner, attendance is limited to 70 fans, to RSVP email Charlsie Burud at firstname.lastname@example.org.