By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros showed that they can play with anybody this weekend with a 3-1 win followed by a 2-1 loss to the division leading Austin Bruins over the weekend. The two points, paired with a pair of losses by the Brooking Blizzard pushed the Tauros lead over Brookings to six points with six games remaining in the regular season. The Tauros and Blizzard will play four games over the final two weeks of the regular season. Meanwhile, last weekend’s opponent, the Austin Bruins will face whichever team emerges with the final playoff spot.
On Friday night the Tauros used a big second period to break the game open. Following a scoreless first the Tauros scored three goals in ten minutes in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Jake Howie opened the scoring with his ninth of the season sending a backhand into the top corner while in tight on Bruin’s keeper Dillion Kelley. Colton Kramer doubled the Tauros lead at 15:23 of the period after stick handling the through the Bruins defense. Less than a minute later off of a net mouth scramble Tim Donohue pushed the score to 3-0 when he deposited a rebound of Johnny Walker’s shot from the blue line. The Bruin’s Niko Hildenbrand broke Brandon Wildung’s shutout bid early in the third but the Tauros goaltender stopped 28 of the 29 he faced to get the win.
On Saturday night the Bruins came out quickly taking a 2-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of the game. Jay Dickman and Casey Jerry scored the Bruins goals as they outshot the Tauros 12-7 through the first. The Tauros carried play most of the final two frames however, but like most teams, had a hard time beating Nick Lehr. After Alex Petterson was called for a five minute major and a game misconduct for head contact on a hit that left Kyle Kruenegel unable to finish the game; the Tauros had a big chance to get back in the game. Jake Johnson was able to get the Tauros on the board with a power play goal but it was the only one the Tauros would score on the major penalty. With Wildung on the bench for an extra attacker the Tauros had several chance to tie the game but where unable to get the equalizer before the horn.
Next up for the Minotauros is a home and home series with the Bismarck Bobcats. Friday night the Bobcats make their final regular season appearance of the season at the Maysa Arena. Tickets are still available by clicking the “tickets” tab atop this page. Then on Saturday night the Tauros head down Highway 83 to take on the Cats in their barn.