By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Box Scores (10/12, 10/13) Highlights (10/12, 10/13)
The Tauros opened divisional play this weekend by dropping a pair of games to the Aberdeen Wings. Friday night’s home game saw the Tauros drop a 6-3 decision and Saturday night the Tauros engineered a third period comeback that fell just short as they lost 5-4.
On Friday night the Tauros broke one of hockey’s golden rules twice, allowing a goal in the final minute of the first period and then another in the first minute of the second period. Aberdeen opened the scoring six minutes into the game after a shot from the point took an awkward carom off the end wall and left Zach Kraft with a wide open net. Cody Milligan tucked home a rebound of a Chance Creger point shot to tie the game at one before Aberdeen scored with just 0:53 left in the period to make it 2-1 Wings after twenty minutes.
The second period saw the Wings pull away lead by Caleb O’Brien. O’Brien first scored just 0:45 into the frame on a shot that deflected off of several players before ending up behind Ryan Ruck. O’Brien’s second of the period came on the power play and pushed the Wings lead to 4-1 and chased Ruck to the bench; Tyler Parks came on in relief. Tim Donohue cut the lead to two when he scored unassisted on the power play; but Mike Parnell pushed the lead to 5-2 with a late second period goal.
Donohue scored his second of the night with the man advantage early in the third, cutting the lead back down to two. A late goal by the wings Kyle Haak however ended the comeback hopes setting the final at 6-3.
Saturday night in Aberdeen seemed to follow a similar script early. The Tauros Denis Dalidovich scored early on a nice feed from Jadin Martin to give the Tauros an early lead. The Wings however countered with a power play marker and an even strength goal to make it 2-1 after one.
Just like the night before the Wings used a big second period to open up a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes. The Tauros’ only goal, a Matt Audette power play goal on a shot from the point set up by Lucas Oliver and Donohue, was sandwiched between a pair of Tanner Holmquist goals which were both assisted by Erik Baskin.
After a Mason Morelli major penalty for head contact sent the Wings to a five minute power play new Tauro Jake O’Borsky drew a call after working hard to earn a shorthanded chance leading to the teams skating four a side. Kyle Kruengel then got free during the four-on-four in the right circle and hammered home a feed from Joe Sullivan who was on the left side.
The Tauros who had managed only 14 shots through the first two periods came out guns blazing in the third. Outshooting the Wings 21-6 in the final frame the visitors kept the pressure on the Wings all period. The constant offensive pressure resulted in a five-on-three power play for the Tauros and they used that chance to pull back into the game. First, Oliver redirected a Morelli shot past Marcus Zelzer to make it 5-3. Then on the ensuing five-on-four power play Morelli set up Cameron Rowat to cut the lead to 5-4 with 4:00 remaining. The Tauros were unable to get any closer however and dropped both games on the weekend.
Next Up: The Wings come back to the Maysa for a game on Friday night then the Tauros take to the road for their first look at the Brookings Blizzard on Saturday. Saturday night will also be the Tauros first road watch of the season at Buffalo Wings and Rings. Tickets to the road watch party include all you can eat wings and all you can drink beer or soda. For tickets to either Friday’s home game or Saturday’s rode watch party click on the “tickets” tab atop this page.