by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros continued their dramatic turnaround with a weekend sweep of the Austin Bruins. After starting the season 0-6-1, the Tauros are 11-6-0 and have climbed from the division basement into fourth place just three points behind third place Brookings.
On Friday night the Tauros and Bruins played about as close of a game as possible. In the first Austin’s A.J. Reid was sent off for high sticking. On the ensuing powerplay Matt Audette beat Nicholas Lehr with a shot from the point to give the Tauros a 1-0 lead at the 9:51 mark. Then just 3:07 later with Jadin Martin off for his own high sticking penalty Reid was able to beat Tauros keeper Tyler Parks to even the score. That was the last time the Bruins would put a puck past Parks on the weekend. The rest of regulation and the five minute overtime passed without a goal sending the game to a shootout. After Parks stopped Drew Anderson in the first round Cameron Rowat beat Lehr to put the Tauros up 1-0 in the shootout. Parks made Rowat’s goal hold up stopping each of the next four shooters to give the Tauros the win.
Then on Saturday night the goaltending clinic continued. Parks and Lehr continued to turn away every shot they saw and it was scoreless after the first. Then early in the second Zach Holstrom found Martin behind the Bruins defense. Martin came streaking in along the right wing boards cut towards the net; he fired a wrist shot past Lehr putting the Tauros ahead 1-0. The Tauros missed a chance to extend the lead when they failed to score on a prolonged powerplay which ran almost six minutes including 0:18 of a 5-on-3 advantage. In the end Parks made it stand up stopping 22 shots on the night including 11 in the final period to lead the Tauros to a 1-0 victory and a weekend sweep.
Three Stars of the Weekend
1st Star: Tyler Parks, 2-0-0 51 saves on 52 shots
2nd Star: Jadin Martin, 1 gwg, 1 sog, +1
3rd Star: Matt Audette, 1 goal, 5 sog, E
Next Up: The Tauros head to Bismarck next Friday to take on the Bobcats, and then head to Aberdeen on Saturday night for a match-up with the Wings. Saturday night will be the Tauros December Road Watch Party at Buffalo Wings and Rings. Tickets are available now by clicking the “tickets” tab atop this page. Then the Tauros will return home to host the Bobcats on December 14th and 15th.