by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Austin, MN – It was probably not the game that either coaching staff drew up over the last week of practice but for the Tauros it was exactly the result they were searching for. The Tauros topped the Austin Bruins 8-6 in an up and down affair in Game 1 of the first round best of five series. The game saw the score tied five times before the Tauros pulled ahead for good on Jake Howie’s first goal of the playoffs in the third period.
The game opened at a fast and furious pace; with the teams combining for seven goals in the first period. Less than five minutes in the Tauros found themselves down 3-1. Guillaume Leclerc and Jake McCann traded goals to open the scoring less than three minutes in then two more quick goals for the Bruins, the second of which came shorthanded, chased Brandon Wildung from the game. Michael Louria then struck on the power play and again at even strength to get the Tauros even with just under five minutes to play in first. Then Jadin Martin struck at even strength to give the Tauros a 4-3 after 20 minutes.
The frantic pace did not slow down in the second. The Bruins drew even just 26 seconds into the middle frame Scott Dornbrock answered that tally for the Tauros however temporarily restoring the lead at 5-4. Eli May would once again tie the game but Tauro captain Tim Donohue scored on the power play with just 17 seconds left in the second to give the Tauros a 6-5 lead headed into the third.
Once again the Tauros got off to a sluggish start allowing their second shorthanded goal against of the night just 2:05 into the third. The goal knotted the game at six. Jake Howie broke the tie for the final time cashing in on a power play at 4:03 of the third pushing the Tauros ahead 7-6. The Tauros held the lead into the final minute despite having to kill a pair of penalties. Then with the Bruins net empty, Donohue scored his second of the night to get the Tauros the 8-6 win.
With Game 2 tomorrow night in Austin there is not much time for the coaching staffs to fix the holes that lead to such a high scoring game. The win on the road for the Tauros stole home ice advantage for the Tauros in the best of five series. Games 3 and 4 are in Minot next weekend. There will be a Game 2 Roadwatch Party at Spicy Pie in Minot.