By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Brookings, SD – The Minotauros traveled 1,007 miles and were playing their second game in as many nights going into the third period in Brookings. Trailing by two goals with 20 minutes to play before the NAHL Christmas break it would not have been unheard of for the Tauros to play like the bus was running; but coach Marty Murray’s troops had other ideas.
The Blizzard took an early lead striking just 1:40 into the game when Tyler Cayemberg was able to work a rebound past Tauro’s goaltender Tyler Parks. Then late in the second period Eric Brenk doubled the lead with 1:12 remaining before the horn. The Tauros had been outshot 29 to 12 through the first 40 minutes in falling behind 2-0 and looked to be too road weary to come back.
Jake O’Borsky, woke up the Tauros offense just 0:23 into the third off of a scrum to the right of Brookings net. Thomas Williams pushed the lead back to two at 9:35 of the third and again it looked like the Tauros were done. Collin Abitz got the goal back however after Jake McCann took the puck away from the Blizzard in the Brookings zone and then found Abitz streaking down the slot. After the Blizzard took a penalty, O’Borsky won the draw back to Mason Morelli; Morelli moved the puck along the blue line to David Dalbec. Dalbec fired a shot towards the Blizzard net and O’Borsky redirected the puck past Drew Weigman to tie the game at three just 29 seconds after Abitz’s goal.
After neither team was able to score again in regulation the teams went overtime. A late third period penalty on Dalbec forced the Tauros to play the first 0:46 of the extra session down a man. The Tauro killers did the job and then the Tauros outshot the Blizzard 4-1 in the overtime; despite the offense the Tauros went to their eighth shootout of the season.
Cameron Rowat was the first shooter up and he ripped a wristshot past Weigman to give the Tauros a 1-0 lead. Tyler Parks stopped the first three shooters he saw and at the start of the fourth round Scott Dornbrock beat Weigman setting up a must score chance for Nikta Sokolov. Sokolov could not beat Parks and Tauros won 4-3.
Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Jake O’Borsky 2 goals
2nd Star: Tyler Parks 34 saves on 37 shots; 4 for 4 in the shootout
3rd Star: Collin Abitz 1 goal
Next Up: The Tauros return home for their last home games of the calander year hosting Brookings Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday night is military appreciation night and the first 250 fans with military id will be given a free ticket. Also the Tauros will be wearing special camouflage jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game. Puck drop on Friday and Saturday nights are at 7:35 p.m.