By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros hosted the defending champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs and just as when the teams met in Alaska earned a split. After the weekend split the Tauros are now 6-3-0 combined against Fairbanks, Austin, and Janesville who are each in first place in their respective divisions; the Tauros have not played the South Division leading Lone Star Brahmas.
Friday night the Ice Dogs struck early when Ryner Gorowsky (12g 26a) scored just 3:03 into the game. Christian Mohs (18g 31a) and the Tauros struck back quickly though with a goal just 13 seconds after Gorowsky opened the scoring. After the early offensive outburst the teams settled in and the 1-1 tie held after twenty minutes. Blake Lizotte (14g 37a) and Mohs the pushed the Tauros out to a 3-1 lead in the middle of the second frame. After a pair of failed power plays early in the third the Tauros Nick Monfils (13g 14a) scored with just over five minutes remaining to seemingly ice the game away. Despite being down three goals Fairbanks pulled their goaltender and the risk paid off when Gorowsky scored his second of the day with 2:54 to play cutting the Tauro lead to 4-2. However with less than a minute remaining and the Fairbanks net empty again, Johnny Walker (18g 19a) scored to push the final to 5-2 Tauros.
Saturday night’s game started much the same way as Friday’s with Fairbanks scored 2:08 into the contest. This time it was Ethan Somoza (27g 34a) who gave Fairbanks a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately the Tauros did not answer quickly as they did the night before. Mitchell Baumann (2g 1a) scored late in the period to give Fairbanks a 2-0 lead headed into the first intermission. The second period passed without any offense and the Tauros still trailed by two heading into the final frame. Jake Howie (14g 12a) got the Tauros back into the game early in the third when he converted on a breakaway. Fairbanks answered back while Jon Lizotte (10g 23a) was uncharacteristically in the penalty box serving his fourth penalty of the night. Mohs scored his third of the weekend for the Tauros with 2:04 to play but the Minot was unable to find the equalizer and fell 3-2.
The Tauros homestand continues Friday and Saturday when the Kenai River Brown Bears come to Minot for a pair. Tickets for the remaining regular season home games are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page; for $100 fans can get season tickets for the remaineder of the season and a replica road jersey. Season tickets come with a reserved spot in the bleachers as well as the chance to buy playoff tickets before they are available to the general public. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.