By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
For the second weekend in a row the Tauros split on the road in the West Division, this time with the Fresno Monsters. It took a twelve round shootout on Friday night but the Tauros notched their first set of back-to-back wins in franchise history. The Monsters bounced back on Saturday night finally ending a seven game winless streak.
Friday the Monsters got out to a quick start scoring just 5:12 into the game on a powerplay marker by Mitchell Snyder. After the Tauros fifth ranked power play failed to score on a prolonged powerplay, which included 0:58 of five on three; Jake O’Borsky set up Travis Maxwell who tied the game at one. For Maxwell the goal was the second of three on the west coast swing. The big defenseman had six points (3g 3a) on the four game swing down through the West Division, bringing his total to eight points in as many games as a Minotauro. Maxwell’s 13 points on the season rank third among NAHL defensemen.
Even at aces after one the goaltenders put on a show the rest of the way. The Tauros Tyler Parks made several highlight reel saves in stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Tomas Sholl matched Parks save for save also stopping 29 of 31. While both goaltenders appeared to be impenetrable Jadin Martin set up Steven Sherman who gave the Tauros a short lived lead in the third. Gordon Wells evened the game right back up 2:01 after Sherman’s goal and after that Parks and Sholl went toe to toe sending the game into overtime.
Overtime passed without a goal and then the goaltending showcase kicked into high gear. The teams traded goals in the third and eighth round but each goaltender may nine saves through the first 11 rounds. Matt Audette solved Sholl in the top half of the 12th round, and Parks stopped Mark Bittner for the win.
Saturday night appeared like it was starting much like Friday night had. The Tauros swarmed the Monsters early, but Brandon Brossoit scored his first of the night 7:29 in giving the Monsters a 1-0 lead. Unlike the prior night the Monsters kept on scoring. Daniel Rosse and Brossoit each scored unassisted to make it 3-0 Fresno by the end of the first. Dan Sherer’s goal just 1:23 into the second sent Parks to the bench in favor of Ryan Ruck. Maxwell then returned the favor from the night before setting up O’Borsky on the powerplay to finally get the Tauros on the board.
A comeback was not in order however as for the second period in a row the Tauros allowed a goal with less than a minute remaining making it 5-1 after 40 minutes of play. O’borsky and Sherman set up Wesley Iverson early in the third to cut the lead to 5-2, but Brossoit netted his hat trick goal pushing the lead back to four. The Tauros would not quite however Maxwell score on the powerplay with Sherman and Iverson each getting their second point of the night with the helpers. That was as close as the Tauros would get with a final of 6-3.
Three Stars of the Weekend:
1st Star: Travis Maxwell: 2 goals, 1 assist, -1
2nd Star: Jake O’Borsky: 1 goal, 2 assists, even
3rd Star: Matt Audette: Shootout game winning goal
Next Up: The Tauros return to divisional play but stay on the road with games in Austin next Friday and Brookings next Saturday. Friday is our second road watch party of the season, tickets are still available by clicking here or on the tickets tab atop this page. The Tauros will return home on November 17th to take on the rival Bobcats, avoid the lines on game night and get your ticket now.