Bismarck, ND – The Minot Minotauros pushed their road winning streak to 10 with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Bismarck Bobcats in the state capital on Saturday night. At first the game appeared it would be a replay of the teams’ last meeting at the VFW Sportscenter when the Minotauros cruised to a 7-0 victory. Instead the Bobcats pushed back and tied the game before the Tauros prevailed.
The first 20 minutes belonged to the visitors starting with Chase Springman’s goal at the 7:33 mark to open the scoring. Tauro captain Jon Lizotte doubled the lead three seconds into the Tauros second power play of the night with a blast from the blue line that Hunter Shepard never saw through traffic. With just 27 second left before the first horn Troy Degler’s centering feed for John Snodgrass was deflected into the net to make it 3-0 Tauros headed to the first break.
Christian Mohs pushed the lead to 4-0 when he slid a backhander between Shepards legs while on a shorthanded breakaway early in the second and it appeared the Tauros had locked the game away. Cullen Willox however got the Bobcats on the board with a shorthanded breakaway of his own and Harrison Aide tipped home a rebound 52 seconds later to cut the lead to 4-2. Then as is often the case in the rivalry between the two clubs things got out of hand. Garrett Nelson took a run at Johnny Walker and earned a major penalty for charging. Rasmus Sorgardt and Jacob Dittel each picked up penalties for the Tauros during the ensuing scrum. Then just over two minutes later chasing a puck into the corner Walker collided with Tanner Salsberry and was given a major and a game misconduct for charging with just two seconds remaining in the period.
The third period started with the teams skating four aside due to Nelson and Walker’s penalties but once Nelson’s penalty expired the Bobcats had 2:42 of major power play time. The Cats struck twice in rapid succession at the 2:52 mark and again at 3:57 to draw even at four. Once the teams were back to five on five hockey the Tauros once again began to carry the play. Then with just under five minutes to play Snodgrass picked up his lines third goal of the night giving the Tauros a 5-4 lead. The Tauros then clamped down on defense allowing just one more shot on Atte Tolvanen the rest of the way. While the third period passed without any further penalties whistled by the officials the final frame was not without controversy. After a whistle with just 3.6 second remaining the Bobcats clock operator changed the remaining time to 7.0 seconds. The Tauros protested to no avail, but even with the extra time the Bobcats failed to get the puck towards the net and the Tauros won 5-4.
The teams will have little time to cool down however as the Tauros host the Bobcats on Friday night at the Maysa Arena. The game will the teams’ fifth meeting in as many weeks with the Tauros holding a 3-1-1 record in the series. Tickets for Friday’s game are still available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page.