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Digging Deep

By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com

Brookings, SD – The injured and ill Minotauros only took 19 players on the weekend swing through South Dakota and now come home with a hard fought two points.  After falling 4-3 in Aberdeen the night before despite carrying the play at even strength with just nine forwards in the lineup the Tauros fought through 65 minutes of hockey before prevailing in the shootout Saturday night.

Brookings opened the scoring 9:38 into the second period when T.J. Samec (5g 5a) was able to sneak a puck past Atte Tolvanen (2.03gaa .919sv%) from an awkward angle.  The Blizzard would hold that lead until the third period.  Jake Howie (12g 11a) nabbed his second goal of the weekend early in third stanza to draw the Tauros even.  Then with just under four minutes to play John Snodgrass (11g 11a) scored to give the Tauros a 2-1 lead.  However with less than a minute remaining and Blizzard goaltender Eric Hancock (3.01gaa .894sv%) heading to the bench for an extra attacker Viktor Lindell (12g 8a) was able to find the equalizer and force overtime. The extra five minutes passed without a goal and the teams went to a shootout.  Johnny Walker (16g 14a) kicked the shootout off with a goal faking a slap shot pulling Hancock out of position before tucking the puck in on the forehand.  Colton Kramer (7g 9a) beat Hancock as well in the third round and Tolvanen stopped all four Blizzard attempts to get the Tauros the win.     

Next up, seven Minotauros head to Ann Arbor, MI, for the NAHL Top Prospect Tournament; the league’s all-star event.  Blake Lizotte (12g 35a) will be on the NAHL Selects team comprised of the top young players in the league; meanwhile Walker, Tolvanen, Christian Mohs (15g 30a), Jon Lizotte (10g 20a), and Casey Johnson (7g 12a) will all be on the Central Division Team which will be coached by Tauros’ head coach Marty Murray.  The Top Prospects Tournament will take place on Monday and Tuesday, follow the Minotauros on twitter @MinotauroHockey for live updates on the Minotauros players. 

After the Top Prospects Tournament the Tauros return home for a seven game home stand starting on Friday night when the Brookings Blizzard come to the Maysa Arena.  Tickets for Friday night’s game are available by clicking the “tickets” tab atop this page.  Get season tickets for the final 8 home games of the regular season and get a reserved seat for the playoffs as well as a replica road jersey all for just $100; for more info call (701)852-0101 or email contact@minotauroshockey.com.