Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros pulled back into second place in the Central Division standings by taking three of a possible four points from the Minnesota Wilderness on the weekend. Aside from playoff seeding importance the series with the Wilderness brought a different type of attraction to the Maysa Arena. The Minotauros celebrated the Nodak Speedway and the race cars that call it home. Each Tauro wore a custom jersey designed to match a car from the track. Additionally the Tauros hosted the Nodak drivers all weekend including pitting them against the Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports sled hockey team in a game on Saturday afternoon which Prairie Grit won 2-1 in overtime. The Tauros also debuted a new intermission tricycle race with the Nodak drivers participating on both nights..
On Friday night the Tauros struggled out of the gates allowing Aaron Myers to score shorthanded just two minutes in. Wilmer Skoog would answer back for the Tauros late in the period however the trend of Tauros poor starts would hold throughout the game. The Tauros allowed goals 2:58 into the second and 44 seconds into the third only to answer back later in the period each time with Vince Marino and Brennan Couet pulling the Tauros back in each frame. Keenan Lund eventually gave the Tauros their first lead of the night in the third only to see the Wilderness mount a comeback of their own tying the game with 1:21 to play. Unfortunately for the Tauros sudden death overtime does not allow for comebacks from poor starts as the Nate Horn scored just 28 seconds into the extra session to hand the Tauros the loss.
On Saturday the Tauros got off to another bad start, this time in front of the largest crowd of the regular season with 2,302 fans packed into the Maysa Arena. Nick Portz roofed a shot over Ben Garrity to give the Wilderness the lead just 3:53 in on the first shot of the game. The score held until the second period when the Tauros broke through in a big way. Fueled by a raucous Maysa crowd the Tauros erupted for three goals with Fritz Belisle, Skoog, and David Raisanen each finding the back of the net to seize momentum for the home side. Sam Skinner and Justin Kelley would add markers midway through the third to ice away the victory as Garrity slammed the door shut stopping the final 16 shots he faced.
Next up the Tauros close out the season against Brookings Blizzard with games on Friday and Saturday night on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena. The Tauros now control their own destiny in the Central Division Playoff race; if they win both games next weekend at home against the Brookings Blizzard the Tauros will stay at home for the opening weekend of the Robertson Cup Playoffs, if not they may have to travel to either Bismarck or Austin for the series opening games.