By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros and Bobcats came into Thursday night’s game (box score) tied atop the Central Division with 69 standings points each. The Tauros struck early, and then used a big third period to pull ahead of the Cats on the scoreboard and in the standings. The 4-0 final score gave the Tauros a 7-5 edge in the season series including wins in the last four meetings by a combined 16-8 score.
Tyler Jeanson (10g 21a) opened the scoring just under five minutes in (highlight) netting his sixth of the season against the Bobcats. That goal would be the lone marker in the first forty minutes, but the Tauros would break the game open in the third. Max Reisinger (14g 25a) tucked home a rebound (highlight) on the power play just 50 seconds into the third to make it 2-0. Chase Springman (14g 20a) followed with another power play goal at 6:30 (highlight) to end Bismarck starting goaltender Hunter Shepard’s (30-11-2) night. Reisinger got his second of the night this time at even strength (highlight) to push the lead to 4-0. That score would hold for the final as Gunner Rivers (16-9-5) earned his third shutout as a Tauro making all 30 saves required of him.
The Tauros power play success was matched by their penalty kill which stopped all seven of the Bobcats power plays. The Tauros outshot the Bobcats 32-30 despite the Bobcats having three more power plays than the Tauros. While the Tauros and Bobcats will continue to joust atop the division, the win clinched home ice advantage in the first round for the Tauros. That means the Tauros will host Game 1 and Game 2 of the opening round on April 15th and 16th respectively.
Next up for the Tauros is a weekend set with the Austin Bruins starting Friday April 1st. After the game on Saturday April 2nd, there will be an auction of this season’s home jerseys. The jerseys will be given to fans at the conclusion of the Tauros playoff run.