By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – On January 5th the Minotauros put three pucks past Jason Pawloski in the first period of play. Since then Pawlowski has seen 87 shots in 166:19 of play plus four more shots in a shootout and none have crossed the goal line. The pair of shutout losses for the Tauros this weekend ruined what had been an exciting week with seven players named to the Top Prospects Tournament and Tyler Parks becoming the organization’s first NCAA D1 commit. Injuries to the Tauros’ blue-line certainly contributed to the team’s weekend struggles, but in the end the inability to beat Pawloski rendered defensive shortcomings immaterial.
Friday night saw a goal with 1:31 remaining in the first and another 1:31 into the second push the Austin lead to 3-0 and seemingly put the game out of reach. After John Simonson scored his second of the game to make it 4-0 at 3:30 of the third, the Bruins took a pair of penalties. The infractions gave the Tauros 0:48 of a 5-on-3 advantage and opened the door for a comeback, but they were unable to solve Pawloski. A late power play goal for the Bruins made it a 5-0 final.
Saturday the Tauros came out firing, outshooting the Bruins 11-7 in the first, but again were unable to score. Most of the second period passed scoreless as well until with the Tauros on the power play a Zach Holstrom shot from the point was blocked by Josh Bretner. Bretner pounced on the loose puck and took it all the way to the Tauros net beating Ryan Ruck to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead on the shorthanded goal. A pair of goals scored just 1:25 apart early in the third put the game out of reach and the Tauros lost 3-0.
Next Up: Next weekend the Tauros have a home-and-home set with the Bismarck Bobcats. Friday’s game is in Minot with an 8:05 p.m. puck drop at the Maysa. Tickets for that game are still available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page. Saturday night’s game in Bismarck drops at 7:15 p.m.