By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Brookings, SD – Thursday’s affair was much closer than the last meeting on Saturday but the end result was the same; the Tauros left Brookings with a win. Also just like the previous visit Johnny Walker was the offensive star for the Tauros scoring the Tauros first and second goals. Nick Monfils added the Tauros third goal, which turned out to be the game winner. Atte Tolvanen made 22 saves in the win.
After 20 minutes it appeared the Tauros would be able to cruise to victory again. Walker first finished a two on one break off of a feed from Blake Lizotte to give the Tauros a 1-0 lead. During the stoppage after the goal was scored Beau Michaud was whistled for cross checking sending the Tauros to the power play. Just 0:56 after scoring the Tauros first goal Walker added another again assisted by Lizotte doubling the Tauros’ lead. The two assists propelled Lizotte into a tie for second overall in the NAHL in scoring with 33 points. Christian Mohs picked up the secondary assist on both Walker goals, and in doing so moved up to 10th in the NAHL scoring race.
The second period saw the Blizzard get back into the game twice. First, just 2:58 into the middle frame Tyler Frishmon beat Tolvanen to pull Brookings within one. Then with the Tauros on their second power play of the night Monfils pushed the lead back to two. Jared Brandt and Colton Kramer were credited with the assists on Monfils’ fifth goal of the season. Joe Anderson scored his second goal of the year against the Tauros at 13:42 of the period to once again cut the Tauro lead to one goal at 3-2.
The Blizzard pushed forward in the third, outshooting the Tauros 7-5 but Tolvanen made every save required of him to get the Tauros the win. The Blizzard’s shot advantage in the third pushed the game total to 24-23 also in favor of the Blizzard; it marked the first time the Tauros were outshot in a game since November 15th.
Next up for the Tauros is a home date with the Bismarck Bobcats on Saturday. That game kicks off a run of eight games in the state of North Dakota with six at the Maysa and two in Bismarck against the Cats. The Tauros are also just five games into a run of 18 games against Central Division foes; the Tauros are 10-2-2 against the rest of the Division. Tickets for the Tauros upcoming games are available by clicking here the “Tickets” tab atop this page.