By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros and Bobcats had already locked themselves into second and third place finishes in the Central Division prior to having to face each other for the season’s final two games. While there was nothing that could happen on the ice that would change the playoff seeding, there was little chance that the Tauros and Cats could meet and just go through the motions.
On Friday night the Tauros sat several of their top players including leading scored Blake Lizotte (14g 38a), and top defense pair Jon Lizotte (10g 24a) and Jake Dittel (5g 8a). Johnny Walker (21g 20a) gave the Tauros a lead just 4:21 in with his power play goal. After Walker’s goal however it was all Bobcats. Dressing their full line up, that Cats scored six, four of which came in the second period, to win 6-1. Despite the score the Tauros outshot the Cats 32-20, and controlled play for stretches.
On Saturday night with both teams sitting their top players the game was more even. The teams traded goals in each of the first two period with the Tauros getting markers from Quinn Fuchs (4g 9a) and Colton Kramer (12g 11a). Then in the third period the game devolved into a circus. A pair of penalties on the Bobcats gave the Tauros a five on three man advantage on which Kramer netted his second of the night. Unhappy with the calls against his team Bobcat Head Coach Layne Sedevie refused to send players out for the ensuing faceoff which lead to a delay of game call and put the Tauros back on a five on three advantage. Kramer converted on that power play as well for a hat trick putting the Tauros ahead 4-2. Once the Bobcats returned to full strength Logan Rivard (6g 16a) scored but that was as close as the Capital Kitties would get as Tanner Holmes (10-4-1, 2.70 gaa, .889 sv%) would get his 10th win of the year. The drama was not over however, with just over six minutes remaining Sedevie would be ejected for abuse of officials, and just 14 seconds later defenseman Tony German (8g 21a) was assessed a gross misconduct when he attempted to shoot a puck at the referee. The final six minutes passed without incident and the Tauros won 4-3.
Next up comes the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Tauros will face the Bobcats in the first round, starting Friday night at the Maysa Arena for a 7:35 puck drop. Tickets are available by clicking here or on the “Tickets” tab atop this page; fans who purchase 2015/16 season tickets get tickets for the first round free.