by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros entered the weekend looking to avenge a pair of extra time losses in Brookings from the season’s opening weekend; suffice to say they accomplished that goal. A pair of convincing victories not only accomplished that task, they also put the Tauros ahead of rival Austin atop the Central standings.
On Friday night (full box) the Tauros played their first home game of the 2015-16 season; after a long pregame ceremony the Blizzard took an early lead when Nick Cardelli capitalized on a turnover just 2:12 into the game. The Tauros answered back however when at less than three minutes later Chase Springman scored to pull the Tauros even. The the Johnny Walker show started. The Tauros leading scorer set up Tyler Jeanson to give the Tauros a lead at 7:09 of the first. Walker then posted a natural hat trick to put the game out of reach. Walker’s three unanswered goals gave Walker 29 as a Tauro and the all time lead in that category. Walker passed former Tauro Jadin Martin who had 27 career goals for the Tauros. Owen Larson finished a nice feed from Quinn Fuchs late in the third to push the final to 6-1.
Saturday night (full box) the first period started fairly even but Austin Martinsen scored late in the frame to give the Tauros a 1-0 lead. Martinsen restored the one goal lead early in the second when 32 seconds after Mikael Hakkarainen drew the Blizzard even Martinsen found a rebound and ripped it into the net. Springmen got his second of the weekend converting on a power play just seconds after a two man advantage ended to put the Tauros ahead 3-1. Walker followed up his four point performance from the home opener with by assisting on each of the Tauros first three goals. Derek Frentz added an unassisted goal late in the third to put the game out of reach at 4-1.
Next up for the Tauros is a return to the Riverside Arena in Austin, MN; where their season came to an end last spring. The Tauros will need to get at least one point to avoid losing their hold on first place in the Central Division. The Tauros will spend the next two weekends in Minnesota facing Austin and the Wilderness before returning to the Maysa on October 30th.