MINOT, ND – At 1:24 of the second overtime period, Nolan Sawchuk found the back of the net, sending the Minot Minotauros to their first ever Robertson Cup Tournament and completing a three game sweep of the Austin Bruins in the Central Division Championship Series.
In regulation, all the offense was limited to a 20-second stretch early in the 2nd period. Valdemar Ahlberg put the Bruins up 1-0 at the 4:58 mark of the middle frame when he backhanded home a rebound created by Levi Stauber’s shot. The lead was extremely brief, as Keenan Lund busted out on a 2-on-1 and beat Bruins goaltender Alex Schilling glove side to tie the game at 5:18.
Minot controlled the third period and had some close calls, including Miroslav Mucha bouncing a shot a few inches in front of the goal line up and out of the crease with about two-and-a-half minutes left. The game proceeded to overtime for the second game in a row.
The Bruins had the better chances in the first OT, highlighted by the top line of Travis Kothenbeutel, Dante Sheriff and Evan Cholak. Minot did manage nine shots due to two power plays in the extra session, but the Bruins kill held strong, finishing a perfect run in the postseason. Sawchuk’s goal came off a setup by Alex Adams, just beyond the left-wing faceoff circle through a screen and past Schilling.
The Bruins netminder stopped 40 of 42 shots that came his way while Minot ‘tender Samu Lonkila turned aside 36 of 37, continuing his strong play. Minot will play either Fairbanks, Janesville, Shreveport, or Lone Star in the Robertson Cup Semifinal next weekend. On the other side, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will face whichever division winner remains.
The Bruins would like to thank their fans and sponsors for another incredible season of support and look forward to seeing everyone in 2018-19.