By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – Thanks to Friday night’s win the Minotauros will be heading to the playoffs for the third time in as many years. The Tauros punctuated the weekend with a 4-2 win on Saturday night completing a dominating showing at the Maysa. The Tauros weekend sweep combined with the Bobcats loss on Friday night now has the Tauros within six points of clinching home-ice advantage for the first round for the first time in franchise history.
Friday night the Tauros roared out of the gate out shooting the Blizzard 19-5 and taking a 1-0 lead on John Snodrass’s (12g 13a) goal at 13:11 of the period. The offensive onslaught continued in the second with the Tauros outshooting the Blizzard 14-7 in the frame and extending their lead to 4-1. The second period goals came from Colton Kramer (8g 10a), Johnny Walker (17g 16a), and Troy Degler (5g 14a). The second period however was not without bad news for the Tauros; both Kramer and Rasmus Sorgardt (1g 10a) left the game with injuries leaving the Tauros down a pair of players for the third. Despite being shorthanded the Tauros allowed Brookings only three shots in the final frame and Atte Tolvanen (23-11-5, 2.00 gaa, .919 sv%) stopped them all to hold on for the 4-1 win.
The following night the Tauros remained shorthanded with only 18 healthy players available to dress the Tauros continued their domination. The Tauros were unable to score in the first despite a 13-7 shot advantage and two power plays. The offense broke through in a big way in the second however with a 20 shot, four goal outburst. Blake Lizotte (13g 35a), Quinn Fuchs (3g 10a), Nick Monfils (12g 13a), and Jake Howie (13g 11a) had the Tauros ahead 4-0 after 40 minutes. The fatigue of skating two skaters down finally hit the Tauros in the third and that combined with a push from Brookings saw the Blizzard get back into the game with two quick goals on Tanner Holmes (8-2-1, 2.59 gaa, .885 sv%). After two goals in the first 3:09 of the third the Blizzard then got a power play at 4:05 when Luke Davison (2g 6a) went to the box for hooking. The Tauros however turned in a strong penalty kill to blunt the Blizzard’s momentum and held on to win 4-2.
The Tauros remain at home for the start of March with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs coming to Minot next weekend. Tickets for the remaining six regular season home games are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page; for $100 fans can get season tickets for the remaineder of the season and a replica road jersey. Season tickets come with a reserved spot in the bleachers as well as the chance to buy playoff tickets before they are available to the general public. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.