Minot, ND – The Minotauros got off to a slow start this weekend but came charging back on Saturday night to earn a split with the Aberdeen Wings and preserve a streak of 7 weekends with at least a point to start the season. The thrilling comeback on Saturday night was very likely the final game in the Eck Rink at the Maysa Arena possibly sending the middle sheet out with a bang.
Friday night (full box) the Tauros got off to a slow start being outshot 12-6 in the opening frame but escaped the period in a scoreless tie. Trystan Isenhour opened the scoring in the middle of the second with his fifth goal of the season (highlight). Just over 3 minutes later Reid Stefanson answered back for the Tauros (highlight) with a shot off of the post and in. The 1-1 tie held into the final period when Kevin Fitzgerald’s goal (highlight) gave Aberdeen the lead with 12:31 to play. Carson Dimoff added an empty netter (highlight) to push the final to 3-1.
If Friday night’s start was a bad dream Saturday night’s was an absolute nightmare with the Wings jumping out to a 3-0 advantage by the 12:54 mark of the opening frame. Riley Murphy (highlight), Joey Strada (highlight), and Fitzgerald (highlight), all found the back of the net before the Tauros could answer. Jack Murphy finally broke through with the Tauros first goal of the night (highlight) in the waning seconds of the first. Trey Bagwell restored the Wings 3 goal lead (highlight) and ended Austin Park’s night in the middle of the second bringing Lucas Murray on for the Tauros. Derek Frentz scored with exactly 5 minutes left in the second (highlight) to pull the Tauros within a 4-2 margin heading into the third. Before the period ended however Dimoff earned a game ejection for a dangerous hit on the Tauros Nate Pionk (highlight). The Tauros would fail to cash in on the resulting 5 minute major power play but would get a power play goal in the third. Chase Springman unleashed a shot that appeared to beat Arttu Kulmala clean but the goal was credited to Alex Adams who tipped it while standing on the doorstep (highlight). Adams scored his second of the period and to tie the game (highlight) with a tap in on the rush. That goal was Adams 10th on the season, he is the first Tauro this year to reach double digits. Deadlocked at 4 the teams would head to overtime, which also ended in a draw, sending the game to a shootout. Murray stopped Shawn Knowlton to open the tie breaker and Austin Dollimer scored (highlight) in the bottom half of the first inning. Fitzgerald drew the Wings even in the second but Zack Bross answered (highlight) making the Tauros 2-for-2 in the skills competition. That meant that Murray could complete the comeback win for the Tauros by stopping Strada and that is exactly what he did (highlight).
The win for the Tauros pushed their lead on the rest of the Central Division to 7 points after Bismarck was swept by the Austin Bruins and Brookings swept the Wilderness. Next up for the Tauros is the Bismarck Bobcats at the Maysa Arena. If all goes as scheduled the game will be the first in the new Pepsi Rink at the Maysa Arena. Tickets will go on sale at noon on Wednesday under the “Tickets” tab atop minotauroshockey.com.