by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – Entering the weekend Chad Catt was ranked atop the NAHL in both save percentage and goals against average. With a pair of shutout victories over the Minotauros this weekend, he remains there. The Tauros offense had struggled coming in averaging only 2.00 goals per game before the weekend. That total has dropped to 1.60 gpg and next week’s task will not be much easier for the Tauros as the Minnesota Wilderness are only allowing 1.70 gpg.
On Friday night (full box) the Tauros fell behind early when Jordan Heller tipped home a loose rebound behind Brandon Wildung at the 4:17 mark. Wildung made the initial save, and appeared to have the puck in his gear, but it had actually trickled through and sat in the blue paint until Heller stepped up to poke it home. Then in the second period with the score still 1-0 Aberdeen, the Tauros put the puck into the net behind Catt, but the referee ruled that the Wings’ net had been dislodged prior to the goal and waived off the equalizer. Midway through the third Kyle Haak beat Wildung to double the Wings’ lead. Not long after Haak’s goal it again seemed as if the Tauros had scored. This time on a netmouth scramble the puck popped up and over Catt and just under the crossbar, but the referee waived that apparent goal off as well. Heller, added his second of the night into the Tauros’ empty net with 34 second remaining to ice away the win.
Saturday (full box) the Wings jumped out to a two goal lead with a power play marker at 8:13 and an even strength score at 12:19 of the first. The power play goal came after a large scrum that saw four players sent to the penalty box for roughing with the Tauros receiving the extra penalty, as Jake Johnson was assessed a double minor. The second period again passed without any offense, but just 1:56 into the third, after the Tauros failed to capitalize on several good power play opportunities of their own, Jonathan Grebosky scored to push Aberdeen’s lead to 3-0, which would hold as the final.
Next up for the Tauros is a trip to Cloquet, Minnesota to take on the Minnesota Wilderness. Friday’s game will be the first of the monthly Buffalo Wings and Rings Road Watch Parties. Ticket for the road watch party include all you can eat wings, as well as all you can drink beer or soda starting a half an hour before the game. There is limited room at the parties so get your ticket now by clicking here. Season ticket are still available and there are three draws remaining for the VIP Trip to Winnipeg to watch the Jets and Flames from a luxury box. Click on the “tickets” tab atop this page for more information.