Minot, ND – The Minotauros bounced back from a frustrating loss in Bismarck on Friday night with a big win on Saturday night at home. The split with the Bobcats kept the Tauros three point back of first place Bismarck. The Tauros have just three games left before the Christmas break, Tuesday at home against the Aberdeen Wings and then Friday and Saturday nights in Austin against the Bruins.
Friday night (box score) the Tauros struck first late in the first period Nik Armstrong-Kingkade netted his 15th goal on the season. Armstong-Kingkade is on pace for 37 goals and 67 points through 24 games this season, both would be new Tauro single season records surpassing Miroslav Mucha’s 30 goals and 55 points in the 2017-18 season. Joseph Harguindeguy then doubled the lead going coast-to-coast short handed and roofing a shot over Bismarck goaltender Andrew Miller. Before that power play would expire for the Bobcats however the Cats struck back with Daniel Chladek scoring a goal just 12 seconds after Harguindeguy’s shorty. By the middle of the period Jack Westlund would restore the Tauros’ two-goal lead with a hard working goal from in front. However the Cats would erase that lead with two goals before the second intermission to make it 3-3 heading into the third. The Tauros could not cash in on a power play early in the third and the Cats were able to strike on one of their three in the final period to walk away 4-3 winners.
Saturday night (box score) the series shifted back to Minot for the Tauros Ninth Annual Scheels Teddy Bear Toss Game. Sam Skinner eventually brought the rain of stuffed animals to the ice when he gave the Tauros a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a shot from the blue line. After the goal 939 teddy bears came over the glass and onto the ice, the bears will be donated to the Minot Police Department and Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center. After a 5:02 delay to gather the bears the Tauros picked up right where they left off with Kyler Kleven scoring just 15 seconds after play restarted. Unlike the night before the Tauros did not let the Bobcats back into the game after taking a two-goal lead. Kleven added his second of the night early in the second period. Cole O’Connell pushed the lead to 4-0 Tauros with the Tauros second shorthanded goal of the weekend with just over a minute left in the second. The Bobcats tried to push back in the third, a pair of Bobcat goals ended Ben Garrity’s shutout bid but O’Connell scored his second of the night with 3:28 left to play to ice the game away. Garrity ended the night with 42 saves in the win.
Next up for the Tauros is a Tuesday date with the Aberdeen Wings on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena. Tuesday’s game is $5 ticket night. Tickets for tomorrow are available here or through the “Tickets” tab atop this page.