Minot, ND – The Minotauros took three out of four points on the weekend in a pair of tight battles with the Bismarck Bobcats. Despite low scores both games were offensive affairs with the teams combining for 161 shots on goal on the weekend. In the end the Tauros took a win and a shootout loss to jump ahead in the Subway North Dakota Cup.
On Friday night the Tauros got new Head Coach and General Manager Shane Wagner his first win. After a scoreless first period, Damon Zimmer scored the Tauros first goal of the season tucking a Joseph Harguindeguy rebound past Noah Altman 8:48 into the second. Jack Westlund was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which would turnout to be the only marker of the game. The Bobcats turned up the pressure in the third attempting to find the equalizer outshooting the Tauros 20-5, but Keenan Rancier made Zimmer’s goal stand up. In total Rancier stopped 46 shots on the night posting the most saves ever by a Tauros goaltender in a shutout topping the previous record of 40 held by Ryan Ruck and Austin Park.
Saturday night the Tauros again struck first, former Bobcat Carter Korpi opened the scoring 5:56 into the game finishing a feed from Kaiden Scott when the duo snuck behind the Bobcat defense on the rush. Owen Baumgartner started the play with a pass ahead to Scott that took a strange bounce. Scott did well to settle it down and turn towards the goal before sliding a pass across to Korpi. Then in the second with the Tauros shorthanded Harguindeguy poked a puck free behind the Bobcats net that Scott found. Scott then carried the puck out from behind the net and roofed a backhander for the Tauros first shorthanded goal of the season and a 2-0 lead. The Cats came back however, finally solving Rancier 14:36 into the second period with the Cats getting their own shorthanded goal from Austin Schwartz. Ben Troumbly struck four minutes later to tie the game late in the second. The third period passed with no scoring and then so did five minutes of three-on-three overtime. The game then went to a three round shootout, Rancier stopped Hunter Jones to start the shootout but after Harguindeguy missed the net Thomas Bergsland beat Rancier to give the Cats a 1-0 lead. Tommy Aitken made a toe save to stop Donte Lawson setting up George Grannis with a chance to win the game. Grannis fired a shot off of the post that then went up towards the crossbar, the referee ruled the puck went into the net, the Tauros bench argued that the puck hit the crossbar; in the end it was ruled a goal and the Bobcats took the extra point.
Next up for the Tauros is the second of three home weekend series to open the season. The Minnesota Wilderness come to Minot for their first games of the season next Friday and Saturday. The games also will be a collection point for the Circle Sanitation Winter Coat Drive, fans should bring new or gently used winter gear to donate for local Minot families in need. The Mintoauros will be disinfect and quarantine the donations prior to passing them on to Circle Sanitation for distribution to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Tickets for the weekend set with the Wilderness are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here.