By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey
Bismarck, ND – The Minotuaros had their second chance in as many nights to clinch the first playoff berth in the franchise’s two year history. After losing to the Wings in Aberdeen the night before the Tuaros came into the game with rival Bismarck just one point from eliminating the Wings from playoff contention. The Bobcats however came out like the team that was playing to earn their spot.
Levi Blom tallied for the Bobcats just 1:48 into the game on a shot from the blue line that beat Ryan Ruck. Ruck would keep the Tauros in the game making 15 saves in the first while the Tauros managed only six shots of their own. The shot gap would only get worse in the second. Just 2:05 into the middle frame Matt Anders doubled the Bismarck lead. Then at 5:55 Jacob Benson scored for the Tauros to pull them back into it. But, in the next 1:03 of game time the Bobcats scored twice to put the game out of reach. After 40 minutes the Tauros had been outshot 41-16 and trailed 4-1. The third period devolved into a penaltyfest and the Bobcats nabbed the period’s only goal. Nate Repensky scored on the power play with just 2:15 remaining.
The Tauros have seven games left to find one point to eliminate the Wings from the playoffs. Despite the recent stumble the Tauros also remain have a chance to catch the Blizzard for the third seed. The Tauros trail Brookings by seven points but have a game in hand on the Blizzard.
Next Up: The Tauros have three games this week starting with a make-up game (for the Feb. 2nd game which was cancelled) on Thursday in Bismarck. Then they return home to host the Austin Bruin on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets for both home games are still available by clicking the “tickets” tab atop this page. Tickets for the February 2nd game will be honored this Thursday night, tickets are also still available for that game via bismarckbobcats.com