By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – It is not often that a team can outscore their opponent 5-0 on a weekend and only get three of four points but that is what happened to the Minotauros this weekend. A 2-1 loss in the shootout in Friday’s scoreless game was the only blemish on the Tauros’ dominant weekend. The Tauros outclassed the Aberdeen Wings in a pair of games on Friday and Saturday night outshooting them 33 shots combined.
Friday night the Tauros and Wings battled to a scoreless tie through 65 minutes of hockey. The Tauros carried the play for most of the game earning a 41-21 shot advantage, but could not solve Chad Catt. Kyle Haak and Tanner Okeson we able to beat Atte Tolvanen in the shootout while Johnny Walker was the only Tauro to tally resulting the skill competition cost the Tauros a point. The shootout loss in an otherwise scoreless game put Tolvanen in the rare position of getting credited with a loss and a shutout in the same game.
Saturday’s game started much the same way as the night before, with the first period ending in a scoreless tie. Then at 4:43 of the second period Blake Lizotte finally broke through for the Tauros, taking the puck from the left wing into the high slot and beating Catt with a quick snap shot. The goal opened the flood gates for the Tauros who went on to pump three more past Catt before the end of the frame. James Mathias netted his 10th of the season on the power play less than four minutes after Lizotte’s 10th of the season to make it 2-0 Tauros. Max Mettler’s second of the season shot from the blue line at 12:31 made it 3-0 Tauros and Colton Kramer’s third of the year pushed the lead to 4-0 heading into the second break. Affiliate player Martin Aune had an assist on Kramer’s goal in his first game with the Tauros. Just 3:32 into the third Walker tipped home a feed from Jon Lizotte for his 14th goal of the season giving the Tauros a 5-0 lead. Walker’s goal moved him past Tim Donohue and set a new standard for the most goals scored in a season by a Tauro. Tanner Holmes stopped all 20 Aberdeen shots including a toe save in the final minute to keep Aberdeen from scoring a real goal for the second night in a row.
The Tauros picking up three points on the weekend combined with Austin’s split with Brookings means the Tauros moved to four points ahead of the Bruins in the race for the Central Division crown. The four point lead means that regardless of results next weekend when the Tauros head to Austin for a pair of games the Tauros will remain in first place. After the trip to Austin the Tauros return home for a Thursday date with the Bismarck Bobcats. Tickets for that and all Tauros home games are available by clicking on the “tickets” tab atop this page.