By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
The Tauros came out strong in the first period outshooting the Wild 6-2 over the first nine minutes of the game. Unfortunately a Rasmus Sorgardt penalty sent the Tauros to the kill and just 23 seconds into their power play the Wild were able to take a 1-0 lead on David Powlowski’s one timer. James Mathias doubled the Wild lead when he found a loose puck in tight and beat Atte Tolvanen. With just under five minutes to play in the first frame and an offensive zone draw Blake Lizotte won the puck back to Jared Brandt, Brandt fired and Christian Mohs redirected the shot past Andrew Rohkohl to get the Tauros on the board.
The Wild extended their lead early in their when Ivan Bondarenko was able to beat Tolvanen to make the score 3-1 Wild. That score held until 11:20 of the second when Lizotte from along the left boards was able to find Mohs driving towards the right post. Mohs tipped the pass past Rohkohl to draw the Tauros within one once again with his fourth of the season. Despite being outshot 12-4 in the second period the Tauros still seemed to carry much of the play, they simply missed the net on several prime chances.
Then just 11 seconds into the third Johnny Walker rectified that problem as he scored his third goal in two days to tie the game at three. That score would hold despite several good chances for both clubs that forced Tolvanen and Rohkohl to make a multitude of fantastic saves to force over time. In the extra frame the both goaltenders again came up huge. With just 24 seconds remaining in overtime Jacob Dittle was sent off for head contact. The Wild set up a 4-on-3 power play and got the shot they wanted but Tolvanen was able to answer with his glove to force a shootout.
Powlowski gave the Wild a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second round, and the score held through the third round. Alexander Kasitsyn drew the Tauros even in the top of the fourth with a nice move that had Rohkohl moving the wrong way. Tolvanen stopped the next three shooters to get the Tauros to the seventh round. Lizotte who already had three assists snapped a shot past Rohkohl to give the Tauros the lead, then Tolvanen stopped Mike Coyne to get the Tauros the win.
Notes: With two goals today Mohs had four on the Showcase plus an assist giving him a team leading five points. Lizotte’s three assists today tied a team record for assists in a game. The move to forward has been a good one for Walker so far as he had three goals at the showcase and was a +2. The Tauros 2-2-0 record at the season opening NAHL Showcase marks the best performance by the Tauros in their four seasons.
Next Up: The Tauros come home from the Showcase to host the Austin Bruins on Friday night. It will be the second season in a row that the Bruins will provide the opposition on opening night at the Maysa Arena. The last time Austin came to Minot was Game 4 of the first round of the 2014 Robertson Cup Playoffs. The two teams played the longest game in the NAHL’s modern era with Austin winning at 16:57 of the third overtime. Tickets for the Minotauros home opener are available by clicking on the “tickets” tab atop this page.