By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros earned a weekend split with the Kenai River Brown Bears in a series that had little offense. Early Friday night it looked as if the weekend would be anything but low scoring; just one minute and two seconds into the game the two clubs had each scored a goal. Over the next 118:58 however only three more goals would be scored, one of which was into an empty net, as the goaltenders took over the show.
Friday’s game stated with a bang as Nick Monfils (14g 14a) scored just 0:17 into the contest cutting through the Kenai defense on the opening shift. Quinton Fletcher (2g 2a) sent a shot that found a way through traffic to beat Atte Tolvanen (25-12-5, 2.01 gaa, .920 sv%) to even the score 45 seconds later. Tolvanen and Evan Hauser (1-13-1, 3.98 gaa, .878 sv%) settled in after that stopping everything thrown at them. Chase Springman (12g 18a) broke the tie with just 5:08 separating the teams from overtime with a shot off of a faceoff giving the Tauros a 2-1 lead that eventually became the final.
Saturday night’s game picked up right where the previous night’s game left off with Tanner Holmes (8-3-1, 2.46 gaa, .897 sv%) and Alec Derks (7-13-0, 3.70 gaa, .885 sv%) filling in for Tolvanen and Hauser respectively. Both Holmes and Derks were tested frequently and the duo passed each with flying colors through the first 40 plus minutes. Disaster struck for the Tauros while on the power play early in the third when Jon Lizotte (10g 24a) had his shot blocked at the blue line. Joseph Kaszupski (5g 8a) who had blocked the shot then took off up ice on a short handed breakaway and beat Holmes to give Kenai a 1-0 lead. Then in the final two minutes with the Tauros net empty Maurin Bouvet (16g 20a) was able to ice the game away to give Kenai a 2-0 win.
The Tauros will not have much time to dwell on the weekend’s disappointment as the Bismarck Bobcats will make their final regular season appearance at the Maysa on Tuesday night. Tickets for Tuesday’s match up with the Bobcats and Saturday’s final regular season home game against Aberdeen are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page. Fans can also get tickets to both games as well as a Tauros road jersey for $100 while supplies last; for more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.