by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Aberdeen, SD – The Minotauros got back in the win column with a shootout victory in Aberdeen. The win ends a three game losing streak and kept the Tauros one point ahead of the Austin Bruins who won in LaCrosse, WI on Saturday night. The Tauros got the win as their offense, which had gone dormant during the three game losing streak, got going again firing 51 shots at Aberdeen netminder Peter Thome.
The Wings opened the scoring at 6:09 of the first when Jackson Graalum fired a wrist shot over Jon Flakne’s glove giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. The Tauros battled back before the first break with rebound goals from Derek Frentz and Austin Martinsen to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room.
A miscue at the offensive blue line lead to the Wings getting an odd man rush and drawing even just 0:24 into the second period. The game would remain tied until midway through the third period when Jack Murphy gave the Tauros a 3-2 lead with a wrist shot from the left circle on the rush. Luke Davison started the play with a long pass from the Tauros’ zone to start Murphy on the attack. Jake Leitner would pull the Wings even late when his shot trickled through Flakne after the Tauro goaltender made the initial save.
A late penalty gave the Tauros a chance on the power play before overtime but they were unable to convert. Nineteen seconds of power play time carried over into the extra session allowing the Tauros to start overtime with a four on three advantage. Again the Tauros failed to convert and after a whistle the teams skated three on three. Jared Brandt rang a shot off the crossbar in the final mintue of overtime but that was as close as either team would come to avoiding the shootout.
Martinsen scored to open the shootout and Tanner Okeson answered in the second round to have the teams even 1-1 headed into the third round. Johnny Walker, who assisted on Martinsen’s goal in the first, faked a slapshot and then tucked the puck behind Thome to give the Tauros a 2-1 lead; but Gavin Payne answered to force extra rounds. Flakne and Thome would turn the next 10 shooters away over five rounds before Jake Gammichia scored in his first game with the Tauros to give the Tauros the 3-2 in the ninth round. Flakne turned Will Hammer away in the bottom half of the round to give the Tauros the win.
Next up the Tauros host the rival Bismarck Bobcats on Tuesday night at the Maysa. Then the Tauros play a home and home set with the Wings playing in Aberdeen on Friday and back at the Maysa on Saturday night. Tickets for both home games are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page.