By Jeremy Pike, minotauroshockey.com Bismarck, ND – Despite a three-goal outburst in the third period, the Minot Minotauros could not overcome a 5-0 deficit and lost 6-3 Saturday night, a season-high fifth-straight loss. The Tauros were held without a shot on goal through the first six minutes of the first period until Bismarck’s Alexander Palchick made it 1-0 to the hosts 6:02 into the game.
The Tauros quickly registered three shots on goal in the ensuing minutes but they struggled all night to beat Bismarck goalie Hunter Garvey. The initial six-shot differential held up through the first period and with just under two to go, Brandon Reller made it 2-0 Bismarck.
The second period saw five penalties assessed but neither team could find a goal on the man advantage. However, a successful penalty kill by Bismarck with Adam Pietila in the box resulted in a goal by Drew Holt to make it 3-0 only 15 seconds after the Tauros’ power play ended. Pietila actually recorded the assist on the goal. Despite the goal, the Tauros were able to keep the shot totals closer, only trailing 11-10.
The Tauros needed a big third period, but it was Bismarck who came out hot to start the period. Just under three minutes in, Palchick netted his second of the game to make it 4-0. The Tauros killed off another penalty, but with just under 10:30 to go, Evan Hunter made it 5-0.
Then the visitors made it quite interesting. 36 seconds after Hunter’s goal, John Emmons notched his second goal of the season to break the shutout. Hunter Longhi and Chase LaPinta got the assists, Longhi with his 22nd and LaPinta with his 10th. Then 39 seconds later, Justin Dauphinais pounced on a rebound and rifled it past Garvey for his eighth of the season. Joe Blackley added his third assist of the season while Jack O’Hanisain got his second.
Then it took a relative eternity, 2:22 on the game clock, for the next goal. LaPinta netted his 10th of the season, bringing him to 20 points in total. Longhi and Emmons both added assists, Longhi’s second of the game and Emmons’ seventh of the season. The Tauros had life, down only two with just under seven minutes to go and having scored three in 3:01 of game time.
Unfortunately, a series of penalties undid the comeback effort. Blackley was sent to the box with just over five minutes to go, and it took Bismarck 21 seconds to score on the powerplay via Pietila, their only powerplay goal out of six opportunities on the night.
A game misconduct and five-minute major with just under four minutes left assessed to Joe Westlund meant that the Tauros would be down a man for the remainder of the game, erasing any chance of a further comeback.
Special teams was a big factor in the game. While only one goal was scored, and that the late one to make it 6-3 Bismarck, the Tauros were unable to make any of their three opportunities to count despite some good looks, and Bismarck’s third goal came moments after they successfully killed a penalty off.
Next up the Tauros head into the Christmas break. After that the Tauros hit the ground running with three games in three nights against the Bismarck Bobcats starting on December 29th and 30th in Minot followed by New Years Eve in Bismarck. Then the Tauros stay home for all of January playing seven home games and no road games in the first month of 2023. Tickets for all of the upcoming Tauros home games are available under the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here.