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Toss Up

By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com

box scores: Friday Saturday

The Minotauros and Bobcats played a home-and-home series with each night being the home team’s Teddy Bear Toss Night.  Perhaps the charitable aspect of the nights carried over to the teams as they each won in a shootout allowing the loser to gain a charity point in the standings. 

On Friday night the Highway 83 rivals met at the Maysa Arena in Minot.  The Tauros faithful brought 243 teddy bears to rain onto the ice after the Tauros first goal, but would have to wait awhile.  The first period would pass without a goal despite the teams each racking up 10 shots apiece.  Huba Sekesi broke the scoreless tie at 2:38 of the second when he roofed a backhand over Brandon Wildung’s glove to give Bismarck a 1-0 lead.  Tanner Holmquist would answer for the Tauros at 13:12 of the frame when he tipped a pass from Tim Donohue past Aaron Nelson into the open side of the net;  Holmquist’s strike lead to an avalanche of stuffed animals and a tie game. 

Then late in the period, during a board battle in front of the Bismarck bench Tyler Shipstad was knocked to the ice.  Sekesi then took the opportunity to punch Shipstad repeatedly in the back of the head.  When he got up, Shipstad took a shot at Sekesi as he climbed over the boards for a line change and Shipstad was whistled for roughing.  On the ensuing power play Tyler Dunagan scored to give Bismarck a 2-1 lead after two periods.  The lead did not last long however as early in the third Shipstad took a pass from Beau Ricketts and fired a shot low to the far side of Nelson.  Nelson was able to get his leg pad in the way but Jon Lizotte pounced on the loose puck and fired it past the sprawling Bobcat keeper to tie the game at two.  Overtime passed scoreless, and the teams headed to a shootout.  Wildung was able to stop four of the five Bismarck shooters but got no support from his mates and the Tauros fell 3-2.

The Tauros went to the capital city to look for revenge on Saturday and for much of the night it appeared they would get it.  Jake Johnson, followed his big Friday night fight win over Matt Anders with a goal in the final minute of the first period.  Bismarck was able to tie the game midway through the third when Stanislav Dzakhov was able to beat Merrick Madsen to get the Bobcats on the board.  Cam Rowat answered just than a minute later with his team leading seventh goal of the season.  Rowat’s marker gave the Tauros a 2-1 lead that they held until the final minute of the game.  With their net empty and an extra attacker on the Bobcat’s Nate Repensky was able to find twine at 19:25 of the period to send the game to overtime.  Once again, the extra five minutes solved nothing and the game went to a shootout.  Through five rounds Wes Iverson and Donohue were able to score for the Tauros while Sekesi and Dzahkov matched them.  Alexander Kasitysn scored in the top half of the sixth round and Madsen stopped Dunagan in the bottom half to give the Tauros a 3-2 win.