by: Ken Oda, minotaurshockey.com
Blaine, MN – Day three of the showcase saw the Tauros snag their first win of the season with a 2-1 decision over the Springfield Blues. Despite the shot totals of 37-28 in favor of Springfield the Tauros carried play for much of the game. Goals 1:30 on either side of the first intermission gave the Tauros the lead and were enough to get the Tauros the win.
The first period saw a fairly open game going end to end. The Tauros were outshot 15-7 in the frame but late in the period Michael Bigelbach stole a puck in the neutral zone and gained the blue line. He fed the puck to Tim Donohue on the right wing who drove to the net and fired a shot. Springfield goalie Stefanos Lekkas kicked the initial shot away but the rebound went right to Donohue who shot again and beat Lekkas through the five-hole at 18:30 of the first.
Then at 1:30 of the second Jack Forbort double the Tauros lead after Donohue stole a clearing pass at the Springfield blue line and cut to the front of the net. Rather than shoot, the Tauros captain slid a backhand pass to Forbort who one-timed it to the back of the net over a sprawling Lekkas. The goal made the score 2-0 and would remain that way headed into the third period.
In the final frame Lekkas made several stops on Tauros scoring chances to keep the score close. At the other end Brandon Wildung made several big saves to keep the Blues off the board. Midway through the period the Blues were given a two-man advantage, but Wildung and the Tauros defense held strong to keep the shutout intact. The with 1:59 left in the game, Alex Baskakov fired a shot from the Blue line on the rush. The rebound bounced high in the air and Brandan Jacques deflected it out of midair just over Wildung’s glove to pull the Blues within one.
As the Blues upped the pressure in the final two minutes the Tauros defense held, and as the Tauros pressured offensively Kevin Shand hit Donohue from behind earning a penalty with 16 second remaining to ice the game away for the Tauros.
Next up is the fourth and final day of the Showcase, the Tauros will face the Michigan Warriors. Michigan is 1-1-0 and plays Austin at 8:00 p.m. tonight. The Warriors have topped the Blizzard and lost to the Magicians.