Bruins shock Tauros, score four unanswered goals in shootout win
Together With Veterans Weekend is underway at Maysa Arena, making for an action-packed two days in Minot. The Austin Bruins (8-2-1-3) and Minot Minotauros (10-5-0-0) began their series on Friday night with both teams sitting in a tie for first place in the Central Division.
As part of the festivities, the Tauros will be wearing new military-themed jerseys throughout the weekend in support of Together With Veterans. The jerseys, however, aren’t being worn just for fun.
There is a jersey auction going on, where fans can bid on the jerseys with 100% of the proceeds going to Together With Veterans, a community-based suicide prevention programs for rural veterans.
On the ice, the Bruins and Tauros met for the first of four consecutive games against each other as both teams were looking to gain an edge in the Central Division standings. Pulling off an improbable comeback were the Bruins, who would score four unanswered goals in a 4-3 win over the Tauros on Friday night.
Pregame warmups featured jawing between both teams, making for an exciting night of hockey. The Bruins created a handful of decent opportunities for themselves in the first three minutes but were shut down by Tauros’ goaltender Lawton Zacher.
Breaking the scoreless tie was Hunter Longhi, who floated near the net and was found wide open thanks to a perfect centering pass from behind the net by Chase LaPinta and Justin Dauphinais. Longhi would find the top right portion of the net for his seventh goal of the season and giving the Tauros a 1-0 lead with 13:52 to go in the opening period.
During a penalty Bryan Gilman of the Bruins, Jan-Kasper Bergman would add to the Tauros lead by scoring his first career goal on assists from Cooper Rice and Weston Knox to make it a 2-0 game with 3:06 left in period one.
As the first period went on, the Tauros started controlling the puck more and showed excellent passing abilities which played a vital role in their first two goals. Both teams went into the first break with the Tauros holding a 2-0 lead.
Putting the pressure on in period two were the Bruins, who doubled the Tauros in shots at 12-6. Despite three penalties by the Tauros, the Bruins were unable to cash in and take advantage.
Making his season debut and not wasting any time in announcing his presence was David Nesburg who scored his first goal of the season, assisted by Trevor Stachowiak and Knox, with 13:27 left in the period to extend the lead to 3-0.
Knox would get penalized for high sticking, giving the Bruins a four-minute advantage going into the end of the period, with the penalty being extended into the third period. Moving into the final break, the Tauros looked to finish strong as they led 3-0.
Killing off the penalty were the Tauros, however, the Bruins sent a flurry of shots at Zacher as he was in a high stress situation right as the Tauros got back to full strength. Ocean Wallace of the Bruins would get one of those flurries past Zacher with 15:56 left to make it a 3-1 game.
The Bruins would add another goal with 14:00 left when Sam Christiano scored his first of the season, trimming the lead to one goal at 3-2. All the sudden, the Bruins had life and a lot of momentum moving into the end of the contest.
With 4:26 left, the Bruins would make it a brand-new game when Ethan Lindahl even things up at 3-3 with his second goal of the season. With the arena going quiet, a little bit of life was inserted back into the Tauros when they went on the powerplay with 2:53 to go.
Not being phased were the Bruins, who killed off the penalty and would eventually force overtime. Once sitting with a three-goal lead and looking in control, the Tauros were now faced with playing an extra period on Friday night.
Both teams would go scoreless in overtime and head to a shootout. Leading off for the Tauros was LaPinta who scored, followed by Stachowiak who came up empty, and Longhi who would do the same.
With the game on the line Walter Zacher, brother of Tauros’ goaltender Lawton Zacher, would extend the shootout with a goal. The Tauros would add another goal by Colby Joseph, but both teams would go quiet for a while.
Deep into their shootout lineups, Ethan Lindahl of the Bruins would score the golden goal as the Bruins silenced the crowd at the Maysa, completing a comeback by scoring four unanswered goals in a 4-3 win.
The series between the Tauros and Bruins will continue tonight, with puck drop scheduled for 7:35 p.m. The jersey auction and puck purchase to support Together With Veterans will continue as well, with the auction set to end at 9 p.m. tonight.