By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros offense has struggled of late just 16 goals over eight games prior to this weekend. The defense and goaltending however have kept the Tauros at 4-4-0 over that stretch Those trends continued over the weekend as the Tauros posted just three goals on the weekend in getting swept by the defending champion Minnesota Wilderness.
Friday night (full box) the Tauros fell behind 3-0 by the middle of the second period. Alex Trapp had the first period’s loan goal, but Nick Altmann and Connor Bucsis added two quick goals early in the second to make it 3-0. Two minutes after falling into the 3-0 hole the Tauros fought back Austin Martinsen scored at 6:32 and Johnny Walker scored at 7:26 to pull the Tauros within one. The Tauro continued to try to pull even and with 6:40 to play appeared to be getting an extended power play when Tristan Rostagno jumped Tauros leading scorer Johnny Walker behind the play. Walker refused to fight even after Rostagno had dropped his gloves and was throwing punches. Rostagno was assessed 17 minutes of penalties, however Walker was given a two and a ten for unsportsmanlike conduct as well. The result was two minutes of four-on-four followed by 4:40 of major power play time for the Tauros. While on the power play the Tauros appeared to score when a loose puck was fired into the net, but the officials ruled that they had already blown the play dead. The Tauros could not find the back of the net again and fell 3-2.
Saturday night (full box) Colton Berg gave the Tauros their first lead of the weekend when he scored on the rush for his first goal of the season 4:59 into the game. Alex Toscano drew the Wilderness even when he was left alone in front of Jon Flakne who made the first save but could not stop Toscano’s follow up try. It was the only goal Flakne would allow despite seeing 44 shots on goal. The Tauros would not score again either however and the game would go to overtime. The extra session solved nothing and the teams would go to a shootout. The first ten shooters would all fail to score before Aaron Miller was able to beat Flakne. Nate Pionk was unable to answer and the Tauros fell 2-1.
Next up for the Tauros is another busy week with a home game on Wednesday night against the Aberdeen Wings. After that the Tauros head to Austin to take on the Bruins in a meeting of the top two teams in the Central Division.