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Minotauros Fall to Black Bears, 7-3

May 18, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Minot Minotauros News Release

Blaine, Minn. - Game 1 of the Robertson Cup Semifinals didn't go as the Minot Minotauros had hoped as, they lost to the Maryland Black Bears 7-3 on Friday.

Maryland jumped to a 1-0 lead on a power play 5:11 into the opening period, with Luke Janus blasting a shot through traffic that beat Tauros' goalie, Brady James. The Black Bears struck again1:04 later, as Jeremi Tremblay scored from a wide angle for his third goal of the postseason. Just 23 seconds after the second goal, Maryland padded their lead to 3-0, with Dimitry Kebreau scoring blocker side on James. Kareem El Baseer and Keaton Lipsett grabbed the assists. James was then pulled in favor of Lukas Swedin after allowing three goals on seven shots.

Minot narrowed the score to 3-1 on the power play with 6:49 left in the opening frame. Nick Sewecke scored on a tip-in off a Joel Lehtinen pass, with Nicklas Ketonen providing the secondary assist. However, Maryland quickly recaptured their three-goal lead 32 seconds later, with Kebreau scoring on a rush for his second goal of the opening frame. El Baseer collected his second assist of the evening on the tally. Before the first period concluded, Minot again connected on the power play, cutting Maryland's lead to 4-2. Jack O'Hanisian punched in a rebound of his own shot, scoring on his backhand and beating Maryland's goalie Owen Lepak with 1:39 left before intermission.

At 14:48 of the second period, the Black Bears once again led by three goals. Shorthanded, Evan Sofitikis capitalized on a Tauros neutral zone turnover and then sent Janus on a breakaway, who scored on Swedin. Minot climbed out of another three-goal hole with another power play tally. Trevor Stachowiak followed up on a rebound and poked the puck past Lepak. The Tauros surrendered a second neutral zone turnover that led Dylan Gordon to score his first goal of the postseason, giving his team a 6-3 lead with 9:05 left in the middle frame. One more tally was registered in the second when the puck bounced awkwardly off the boards from a simple dump-in. Swedin ventured outside of his crease, attempting to play the puck, but it ended up in the back of the net after the weird bounce.

Despite going 3-for-6 with the man advantage, Minot trailed 7-3 heading into the third period. Unfortunately, they couldn't score in the final 20 minutes, allowing Maryland to take control of the best-of-three series with a Game 1 victory.

Up next, the Tauros will have a chance to even up the semifinal series against Maryland in Game 2 tomorrow evening, starting at 7:30 PM CST.

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