Minot, ND – The Minotauros stayed perfect against the Bismarck Bobcats at home this season with a dramatic come-from-behind victory on Wednesday night at Minot’s Maysa Arena. With the win the Tauros extended their lead on Austin for second place in the division to three points in the tightly packed NAHL Central.
The Bobcats opened the scoring midway through the first period when George Grannis circled behind the Tauro net before finding pointman Carl Fish for a one-timed blast that beat Nicholas Grabko. For the rookie defenseman Fish it was his first goal of the season. Despite the deficit the Tauros played well outshooting the Bobcats 15-10 in the opening period.
The shot differential continued early in the second with the Tauros taking the period’s first five shots but the Bobcats eventually shifted the momentum in a penalty filled period. The Cats outshot the Tauros 8-7 after the Tauros initial burst forcing Grabko to make several acrobatic saves including one in which he dove across the net to bat the puck away. Both Grabko and the Bobcats’ John Roberts were up to every challenge and the game went into the third still 1-0 Bobcats.
The Tauros pushed to pull even in the third and their efforts would eventually be rewarded as Andrew Kangas tucked home the equalizer from the doorstep with 3:21 left to play in regulation. The goal finished a nice play on the rush by Kangas’s linemates Keenan Lund and Taylor Lantz.
With the game tied through 60 minutes the teams would play a five minute overtime period, that fittingly saw both Grabko and Roberts stop three shots each during three-on-three play. With no goal during the extra time the game went to a best of three shootout that mirrored the game that preceded it. Adam Stacho scored with a shot that snuck between Grabko’s legs on the first shot of the shootout to give the Cats the early lead. After the first two Tauro shooters missed Wimer Skoog had to score to keep the Tauros alive and he did just that with a fantastic fake that had Roberts moving the wrong way on the shot. Three shooters later and neither team had scored setting up Didirk Henbrant with a chance to win the game. He entered the zone on the right side before cutting towards the goal and snapping a wrister past Roberts to give the Tauros the 2-1 win.
The shootout win for the Tauros sets up a winner takes the Subway Cup game on Saturday night in North Dakota’s Capital. The Tauros currently hold a 6-5-0 record against the Bobcats while the Cats are 5-4-2 giving each team 12 standings points. Saturday’s game starts at 7:15, the Farmers Union Pregame Show starts at 7:00 on the Minotauros Network AM 1390 KRRZ and HockeyTV.com.