Minot, ND – The Minotauros earned a weekend split with the Aberdeen Wings to remain three points ahead of the pack in the Central Division.
Friday night the Tauros fell in a 3-0 hole despite appearing to tie the game at 1-1. Adam Pitters opened the scoring just 4:07 in when the Wings turned a turnover into a three-on-one rush. Levi Kleiboer appeared to draw the Tauros even with a shot from the point but it was immediately waived off for goaltender interference. Late in the first Riley Murphy doubled the Aberdeen lead and the Tauros went into the locker room trailing 2-0. Late in the second Murphy would capitalize on a turnover while the Tauros were on the power play to extend Aberdeen’s lead to 3-0. Wilmer Skoog answered back with a goal on the same power play however to keep the Tauros within striking distance heading to the third. Kevin Ness scored his second of the season. A Brad Belisle empty netter pushed the Wings lead to 4-2 in the final minute to set the final score.
Saturday the Tauros bounced back with a strong start outshooting the Wings 13-5 in the first. Cole O’Connell scored his first as a Tauro to open the scoring and 45 second later David Raisanen added a power play goal to double the Tauro lead. John Sladic scored with just under five minutes remaining in the first to make it 2-1 heading into the break. The second passed without a goal and then just 1:41 into the third Jonathan Bendorf scored on the power play to draw the Wings even. Skoog however restored the Tauros lead with his second power play goal of the weekend. Nick Grabko shut the door the rest of the way despite the Wings firing 19 third period shots to hold on for the 3-2 victory.
Next up for the Tauros is their second trip to Austin in a month. Then the Tauros return to North Dakota for a home-and-home series with the Bismarck Bobcats with the Friday game in Bismarck and the Saturday night game in Minot on December 8th. The December 8th game will be the Tauros annual Teddy Bear Toss game with the bears going to the Minot Police Department and the Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center for children in need.