by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – Minot native Jadin Martin scored 8:52 into the first overtime period last Saturday night to earn the Minotauros a split in the first two games of the first round, best of five playoff series with the Austin Bruins. After five days off the series picks up again this weekend at the Maysa Arena with Game 3 on Friday night and Game 4 on Saturday; both start at 7:35 p.m. For the Minotauros the weekend marks the first home playoff games in franchise history.
The Bruins had the second best regular season record in the NAHL and came into the series heavily favored. For the Tauros to knock off the Bruins, it was going to take goaltending and defense and so far through two games the Tauros have had it. Tyler Parks has stopped 68 of the 71 pucks sent his way and the Tauros have held the Bruins’ regular season top ranked power play to 0-6 on the series.
Meanwhile the Tauros offense has finally found a way to get the puck past Jason Pawloski who had a 226:19 shut-out streak against the Tauros snapped less than three minutes into Game 2 (his first start of the series). The Bruins have had both Pawloski and Nick Lehr split time in goal for most of the season, and it will be interesting to see how head man Chris Tok handles the duo for the rest of the series.
The Tauros hope to add to the offense this weekend with the return of Jake O’Borsky to the line-up. The Tauros’ leading scorer tried to play in Game 1 of the series but clearly was not himself, and sat Game 2. The Tauros hope that he will be ready to play this weekend. The Tauros also will get Dennis Dalidovich back on Saturday night as Friday marks the final game of his suspension for his role in the melee at the end of the second to last game of the regular season in Bismarck.
No matter what happens this weekend expect the games to be close. Through 12 meetings so far (10 regular season and two playoff) the teams can each claim six victories and six of the meetings have gone to overtime.
Watch the Games: Tickets for both Game 3 & 4 are still available by click the “Tickets” tab atop this page. Friday’s game will be shown on KXMC’s weather channel, both games will be shown as usual on fasthockey.com.
Game Day Promotions: The first 250 fans 14 and under will receive Minotauros Thundersticks sponsored by Qdoba. Throughout the game Tank will be giving away t-shirts from Integrity Outdoor Living, who sponsored the playoff game pucks. Also cars, including the Tauros Car, from Nodak Speedway will be making appearance at the games this weekend, tickets for the 2013 season will be available. Friday night Coors and Coors Light 16oz cans will be just $2 from when doors open until puck drop. Lastly, tickets to Magic City Mayham 2 will be given away on Saturday night.