The first place Minotauros came out of the Christmas break firing on all cylinders with a three game sweep of the rival Bismarck Bobcats. The series opened with two games in Minot on the Pepsi Rink at The Maysa Arena before shifting down Highway 83 to Bismarck’s VFW Sports Center. Despite minimal practice time due to the NAHL’s Christmas break and a blizzard that delayed the return of players the Tauros dominated all three games outscoring the Bobcats 14-5 in the sweep.
On Thursday night the Tauros opened fast scoring the game’s first three goals all in the opening stanza. AP defenseman Tosten Mann scored his first goal as a Tauro to open the scoring before Alex Adams and Captain Jake Dittel added markers in the later portion of the frame. Tobias Fladeby scored early in the second to bring the Bobcats within striking distance for the third but Lucas Murray stopped all 10 shots he saw in the final period before Nolan Sawchuk hit the empty net to seal away the victory.
Then on Friday night the Tauros again opened with a multi-goal lead, Derek Frentz and Tyler Jeanson took turns setting the other up for goals in the game’s first ten minutes. Frentz’s goal came with the Tauros on the power play while Jeanson scored his converting on a two-on-one rush. Cooper Harr cut the Tauro lead to 2-1 late in the period however sending the teams to the locker room in a one-goal game. Austin Dollimer pushed the lead back to two in the second period making it the second night in a row that the Tauros would head into the third with a 3-1 lead. On Friday night however the Tauros did not just hold on, they blew the doors off. Zack Bross scored 4:21 into the period to make the game feel over and then Jeanson and Dollimer each scored their second goals of the night sandwiched around Bismarck’s second of the night to push the score to 6-2. Jeanson added three assists to his two goals for a point night. Nick Alexander scored on a breakaway in the game’s final minute to make the score appear closer than the game really was. Austin Park picked up his fourth win in net for the Tauros.
As expected the Bobcats came out with more fire on Saturday night looking to avenge the pair of road losses in front of their home fans. Jared Resseguie opened the scoring at 6:39 of the first but that was all that the Cats would get as Lucas Murray shut the door the rest of the way. Reid Stefanson drew the Tauros even with a power play goal in the middle of the period. Chase Springman got the eventual game winner in the second with a highlight reel redirect of a Dittel shot from the point. Michael Talbot notched his sixth of the season with a backhander late in the second and Nate Pionk added an empty netter for good measure in the game’s final minute.
The three game sweep move the Tauros eight points ahead of second place Brookings and ten points ahead of Friday’s opponent the Minnesota Wilderness. The Wilderness come to Minot for just one game on Friday before the Tauros get a rare Saturday night off. Friday’s game is sponsored by the Carpet Garage. Door open at 6:35 for a 7:35 puck drop. Get your tickets in advance to avoid the lines by clicking on the “Tickets” tab atop this page.