by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Brookings, SD – The Minot Minotauros clinched their first ever NAHL Central Division Championship tonight with a win 3-2 over the Brookings Blizzard (box score). The game was a potential first round playoff match-up preview as the Tauros will play the division’s fourth place finisher, the spot the Blizzard currently occupy.
Alex Adams opened the scoring late in the first on the power play netting his 27th of the season. Derek Frentz who had an assist on Adams goal scored a goal of his own early in the second to make it 2-0 Tauros, which is where it stood going into the third. Reid Stefanson was credited with assists on both goals.
Then in the middle of the third the Blizzard came storming back to tie it with two goals in 45 seconds. First a power play goal by Paul Cotter followed by an even strength goal on the rush by Brandon Stanko made it 2-2 with just over 10 minutes to play.
The Tauros clamped back down and did not allow a shot for the next five plus minutes of play and Adams scored his second power play goal of the night restore the Tauros’s lead when he redirect Chase Springman’s point shot past Josh Boyko. For Springman the assist was his 96th career point as a Tauro pulling him within five points of the all-time leader Christian Mohs.
From there Lucas Murray stopped everything the Blizzard threw at him while trying to tie the game and the Tauros won 3-2. That combined with the Minnesota Wilderness loss to the Bismarck Bobcats earns the Tauros their first Central Division regular season crown.
Your next chance to see the Central Champs in action is this Friday and Saturday night when former Tauro Jack Murphy and the rival Austin Bruins come to the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena for a pair of games that start at 7:35.