by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros are off to the best start in franchise history thanks to a big victory over the Austin Bruins on Friday. While the Tauros first two wins of the season were of the comeback variety there was no need for such heroics against the Bruins as the Tuaros toppled the NAHL Showcase Champions with a 4-0 win.
The Tauros struck first late in the first period when Jake Howie got free on a breakaway on a nice stretch pass from Troy Degler. Howie’s goal came among several quality chances for the Tauros, Colton Kramer, Nick Monfils, and Chase Springman all beat defenders to find themselves one on one with Bruins’ goalkeeper Zach Driscoll, but Howie was the lone Tauros to score in the first. Then in the second period Chase Springman was able to double the Tauros lead when he poked home a loose puck on a net mouth scramble. The goal came after Nick Monfils and Tim Athley also took whacks at the free puck prior to Springman tucking it home.
Then as the middle frame moved on the newest Tauros James Mathias accomplished a new achievement for a Tauro. After Howie’s aggressive forecheck lead to him taking the puck away, Howie found Mathias alone in the slot for a one timer which he did not miss. The goal not only gave the Minotauros the lead but it marked the first time in team history that a player scored in consecutive Tauros games with a goal against the Tauros and then a goal for the Tauros.
Minot did well to limit the Bruins chances in the third while protecting a three goal lead. Then late in the period Blake Lizotte found Tauros’ leading scorer Christian Mohs on the rush to make it 4-0 Tauros. That score would hold for the final as Atte Tolvanen made all 31 saves required to give the Tauros the win.
Next Up: The Tauros head to Alaska for four games, two each against the defending NAHL champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the Kenai River Brown Bears.