Minot, ND – The Minotauros bounced back from their worst stretch of hockey of the season with a win on Scheels Teddy Bear Toss Night with a dominating performance on Saturday night in a win over the Bismarck Bobcats. The Tauro lost in Bismarck on Friday night 5-2, dropping their third game in a row for the first time this season. The win on Saturday kept the Tauros within striking distance of Aberdeen for the top spot in the division with the Wings coming to Minot this week.
Friday night (box score) the Cats struck first with the only goal of the opening period when Willy Stauber blasted one past Nicholas Grabko from the blue line. Austin Jouppi doubled the lead with a shorthanded goal in the middle of the second. Didrik Henbrant finally got the Tauros on the board late in the period from in close with assists from David Raisanen and Lincoln Erne. After Fritz Belisle was called for a five minute major for boarding and eject from the game the Bobcats capitalized twice. Jouppi got his second of the game on the power play and Jake Vaughan scored just as the penalty box door opened to make it 4-1. Keenan Lund pulled the Tauros back within striking distance capitalizing on a Taylor Lantz rebound. Alex Pollock hit the Tauros’ empty net to push the final to 5-2.
Saturday night (box score) the Bobcats again struck first. This time it was Tim Piechowski beating Ben Garrity. Kyle Oleksiuk drew the Tauros even at the 9:04 mark bringing a rain of plush toys from the stands as he scored the third quickest Teddy Bear Toss goal in Tauro history (Mason Morelli 0:15 in 2012, and Miroslav Mucha 8:35 in 2017). Raisanen took over the second period scoring two goals 3:49 apart to stretch the Tauro lead to 3-1. Sam Malinski pulled the Cats back within one early in the third but Justin Kelley scored his sixth of the season late to ice the win away. Jouppi did score a late goal on a breakaway with two seconds remaining to push the final to 4-3.
Next up for the Tauros is a Thursday/Friday series with the first place Aberdeen Wings at the Maysa Arena before the league Christmas break. Thursday night’s game starts at 7:05 and Friday’s starts at 8:05, tickets for both are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page.