by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Blaine, MN – The Minotauros looked in danger of giving up a game winning goal in the final two minutes for the second game in a row. During a 5-on-3 power play with 1:23 to play Mitch Maloney scored to give Port Huron a 2-1 lead, and there was still 1:10 left to go on Jake McCann’s hooking infraction. While time ticked and hope faded McCann sat in the box as his teammates killed the rest of the penalty. With 10 seconds remaining Tauros goaltender Brandon Wildung, who had a strong bounce-back performance stopping 26 of 28 shots, headed for the bench. Meanwhile the Tauros headed up ice and a shot from Krisztian Nagy was deflected by McCann off of Scott Dornbrock to Jadin Martin who poked it just over the line to tie the game with 0.3 seconds remaining. The goal earned the Tauros their first point of the season by forcing overtime.
While the final minutes of regulation saw plenty of excitement, the first 38 minutes went by with few scoring chances. Tauros captain Tim Donohue opened the scoring at 18:09 of the middle period when he took a nice pass from Jake Johnson and skated in alone shorthanded to beat Alex Blankenburg. Donohue’s goal would stand as the only marker in the first 40 minutes give the Tauros a 1-0 lead headed into the final frame.
After the Tauros were unable to score on a 1:50 long two-man advantage early in the third Port Huron’s Matt Jones scored a power play goal for the Fighting Falcons. Then late in the period Michael Bigelbach and McCann took tripping and hooking penalties respectively and Port Huron was granted a 5-on-3 of their own. They cashed in, and it looked like it would hold until Martin’s heroics.
The overtime passed with the Tauros carrying the play, but unable to score. Vito Aluia opened the shootout with a quick wristshot that beat Wildung high above his glove. The next six shooters would be stopped by Blankenburg and Wildung until Cam Rowat scored five-hole in the bottom of the fourth round to even the score. Wildung’s save in the first half of the fifth round gave Wes Iverson a chance to win it but he was stopped by Blankenburg. Austin Romzek scored to open the first extra round, and Scott Smoot was unable to answer giving the Falcons the win.
For the Tauros, the third day of the showcase brings a brunch with the Springfield Blues. Springfield is 1-1-0 having lost to Fairbanks and topped Odessa. The game starts at 10:00 a.m. and can be seen on fasthockey.com.