By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – This weekend’s games for the Minotauros were a microcosm of the season: a slow start followed by increasingly strong play culminating in a dominating performance over the rival Bobcats. Taking three of four points from the Bobcats also got the Tauros to 13-13-2 marking the first time in the Tauros one and a half seasons that they are at the .500 mark.
Friday night started poorly for the Tauros being outshot 18-10 in the first period and the Tauros found themselves trailing the Bobcats 2-0 as a result. Lucas Oliver cut the Bobcat lead in half with a power play strike at 12:34 of the second. The Tauros were granted the power play after both Wesley Iverson and Patrick Moore were sent off with coincidental minors for tripping and slashing respectively. Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie did not like the call and let the referee know it. When Sedevie did not stop his rant after he had been whistled for a two minute minor, he was ejected and the Tauros went to the power play.
Then mid way through the third, with the Tuaros again on the power play, Mason Morelli dumped the puck into the Bobcat zone. Aaron Nelson left the Bismarck net to play the puck but failed to stop it, then as he attempted to return to his net a pass intended for another Bismarck player hit Nelson and bounced into the Bobcat net. The result was tie game and it remained that way through the rest of the third period and overtime.
The game then went to a shootout which appeared to favor the Tauros who were 6-0 in shootouts coming in. The teams matched each other with goals in the first and third rounds of the shootout but after Nate Repensky beat Tyler Parks, Morelli was shut down and the Tauros lost in the fifth round.
Saturday night was the Trinity Health Teddy Bear Toss and the Tauros did not waste any time giving the fans their cue to send the bears over the glass. Just 0:15 into the game Morelli beat Nelson and the fans littered the ice with donated bears for children at Trinity Hospital. The delay for the teddy bear clean up did little to stunt the Tauros’ momentum. Scott Dornbrock set up Jake Clifford scored at 7:21 of the first and Cameron Rowat on the power play at 10:27 making it 3-0 Tauros and sending Nelson to the bench.
Bryan Nies came on in relief of Nelson and stopped the first four shots he faced; but with just 2.7 seconds remaining in the first period Tim Donohue scored and made if 4-0 after the first 20 minutes of play.
The second period saw Neslon return to the net, and the Bobcats tried to find him some offense. The Bobcats outshot the Tauros 9-4 in the middle frame but could not solve Parks who made several spectacular saves keeping it 4-0 after two periods.
The Bobcats finally broke through on the power play in the middle of the third when Adam Knochenmus redirected on shot past Parks. Jadin Martin answered with a power play goal of his own for the Tauros pushing the lead back to four goals for a final of 5-1.
Three Stars of the Weekend:
1st Star: Tyler Parks, 1-0-1 56 saves on 59 shots .949 SV%
2nd Star: Mason Morelli, 2g (1 gtg, 1 gwg) +1
3rd Star: Scott Dornbrock, 2a +3
Next Up: The Tauros head to Coulee Region to take on the Chill on Thursday night and then travel to Brookings to take on the Blizzard on Friday.