by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros had been doomed by poor starts in both Game 2 and Game 3 of the Central Division Finals, being outscored 5-0 combined in the opening period of the two games. In Game 4 however it was the Tauros who got off to a good start jumping out to a 2-0 lead en route to a 4-3 victory.
Max Mettler (1g 1a) opened the scoring just 0:35 into the game when his shot from the neutral zone beat Evan Smith to give the Tauros a 1-0 lead. Mettler took the shot from the boards in front of the Austin bench after a faceoff win beating Smith to the short side. Jake Howie (2g 1a) doubled the lead with a shot on the rush that just snuck over Smith’s blocker and just under the crossbar at the 3:45 mark of the first. Liam Feeney (1g 6a) got Austin on the board with a shot from the point with the Bruins on the power play at the exact halfway point of the period. However the Tauros added a power play goal of their own when Chase Springman (1g 0a) fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle with only 0:38 remaining in the first to send the Tauros into the intermission ahead 3-1.
Then in the second with the Tauros on a power play after Zach Kennedy (0g 1a) picked up a five and a game for charging when he ran over Tauros goaltender Atte Tolvanen Nate Pionk scored on a net mouth scramble to put the Tauros ahead 4-1.
Luke Forfar (2g 1a) scored at 8:23 of the third to to cut the Tauro lead to two on a shot from the right circle. The Bruins continued to pressure the Tauros firing 20 shots on goal in the final period. With 1:19 remaining and their net empty the Bruins Alex Jasiek (2g 4a) scored to pull the visitor within one. Tolvanen and the Tauros held the Bruins off however and held on to win 4-3 and force a Game 5 on Monday night.