By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Blaine, MN – The Tauros battled back from a pair of two goal deficits but were unable to ever take the lead in a heartbreaking loss on the opening day of the NAHL Showcase. The Corpus Christi Ice Rays scored with just 1:06 remaining in regulation to take the 5-4 win and start the Tauros season on a sour note.
A slow start put the Tauros in a hole early allowing two goals just 0:52 apart as Frank Dini and Maurin Bouvet scored at 8:18 and 9:10 of the first period respectively. The Tauros would answer back however before the end of the frame. Jack Forbort scored the Tauros’ first goal of the season at the 12:31 mark of the first to cut the lead in half. Forbort carried the puck from behind the net all the way to the top of the circles before ripping a wrist shot past Scott Albertoni.
Then 3:00 into the second period Jake McCann was able to pull the Tauros even, with a great individual effort. McCann came up the middle on the rush and beat Albertoni to the blocker side with a shot that deflected off the post and in. The goal seemed to calm the Tauros down and they carried play for parts of the period but just after a Cam Rowat penalty expired the Ice Rays Martin Hojbjerg was able to beat Brandon Wildung to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.
The Tauros came out with more jump in the final frame, but the Ice Rays scored first when Eric Purcell found a loose rebound and put it past Wildund. The Tauros would not go quietly though and goals from a pair of veterans in Cam Rowat and Jadin Martin pulled the Tauros even with 2:28 to play. Rowat’s goal at 10:36 came at the end of a great individual effort to get the puck to the net, and Martin’s came as he dug for a loose puck in the Corpus crease after a Tyler Shipstead shot. The tie score would not last long however as Bouvet was able to get his second of the game just 1:22 after Martin had tied it.
The Tauros will get a quick shot at redemption with a game tomorrow against the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. The Falcons are 2-0-0 pending today’s result with Austin. The puck drops at 1:15 and the game can be seen on fasthockey.com both live and on-demand or follow the Tauros on Facebook and Twitter for live updates.