AUSTIN, MN – In a back and fourth affair on Friday night at Riverside Arena, the Bruins capitalized six times on only 16 shots to grab a 2-1 series lead in a pivotal game three of the Central Division Semifinals. Gilbert Gabor led the way with two goals and as assist, while Kris Carlson continued his spectacular play in goal, stopping 29 of 32 shots.
Minot took a 1-0 lead about midway through the opening period when Nate Pionk drilled a shot off the far post and in after a Bruins D-zone turnover. The Bruins tied it up just under five minutes later when Justin Misiak flew up the wing and Gabor buried a rebound that was kicked right to him by 'Tauro goaltender Gunner Rivers. Minot outshot the Bruins 11-2 in the first but the game was tied at one.
The Minotauros regained their lead early in the 2nd when the Bruins were once again disorganized in front of Carlson and Chase Springman followed up a Derek Frentz effort to give Minot a 2-1 lead 2:46 into the frame. The turning point came at 6:26 when Austin Rueschhoff blew through the neutral zone and ripped a shot past Rivers' glove, his 2nd goal of the series and 8th against Minot in 2015-16. 1:20 later, Gabor scored his 2nd of the night, racing around the defense and cutting to the net with a backhand move. Austin led 3-2 after two.
The Bruins, who scored three power play goals in game two, converted with the man advantage at 6:44 of the third, as Jacob Paganelli spotted Jade Miller on the back door for a tap-in and a 4-2 lead. Minot's power play would answer late, as James LaDouce got the deficit back to just one at 17:02. After a timeout, Luke Forfar and Evan Cholak found empty net goals to seal the 6-3 victory.
The Bruins will attempt to elminate Minot from the postseason for the fourth year in a row on Saturday night in game four at Riverside Arena. Game time is 7:05pm and tickets can be purchased for $4 off the door price at Hy Vee, Jim's Marketplace, Games People Play, or the Holiday Inn.