Austin, MN – The Minotauros faced down the NAHL Showcase champion Austin Bruins earning a split as they opened Central Division play this weekend in Austin’s Riverside Arena. The Bruins used what appears to be a deadly power play all weekend long to punish the Tauros missteps but the Tauros answered back on Saturday night to earn two points.
On Friday night the Bruins took a lead midway through the second period off of a deflection by Braidan Simmons-Fischer who was parked at the top of the blue paint of Zach Sandy’s crease. The 1-0 lead would hold for Austin into the third when just 1:08 into the final period Trevor Stachowiak scored his first as a Tauro (video) with the Tauros on the power play. The Bruins would answer back however to retake the lead but Caden Triggs would get his first as a Tauro (video) as well to tie the game for a second time, this time at 2-2. Another power play goal for the Bruins however, this time by Marian Haborak would give them their third lead of the night with 4:30 to play and this time the Tauros could not find an answer and fell 3-2 (box score).
Saturday night the Tauros would bounce back however. After a series of penalties culminated in Owen Hanson being ejected and resulted in the Tauros on a very long kill Carson Riddle banked a shot in off of a Tauro defender to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the middle of the second for the second night in a row. The Bruins would remain on the power play though due to Hanson’s infraction being ruled a five-minute major. As a result, 43 seconds later the Bruins would take a 2-0 lead on Jens Richards’s fifth goal of the season and the Bruins second power play goal in less than a minute. The fireworks were not over for that power play however, but this time, 55 seconds after the Richards goal it was the Tauros’ Zack Simon scoring shorthanded (video) in his Tauro debut to pull the Tauros back within one. With the Tauros on a power play of their own late in the period Mason Campbell would get behind the defense on a breakaway. He was unable to score due to a Therien Thiesing slash, so Campbell was awarded a penalty shot. The Tauros would draw even with the Bruins after Campbell converted the makeup breakaway on a shot that just trickled through Hudson Hodges (video). After the teams combined for 16 penalties and 69 PIMS through the first 40 minutes of the game the third period would be played without any penalties being served. The even strength play favored the Tauros and when a delayed call against the Bruins was coming Carter Clafton broke for the bench getting the Tauros an extra attacker; that attacker Colby Joseph found a rebound and buried it (video) to give the Tauros a 3-2 edge. From there Clafton made the lead hold up stopping everything the Bruins threw at him eventually making 27 saves and earning his first win of the season.
Next up the Tauros get to stay in North Dakota for a couple of weekends starting with Friday’s contest in Bismarck against the Bobcats in their home opener (tickets). Then the series will shift north to The Pepsi Rink at MAYSA Arena for the Tauros home opener on Saturday, October 2nd (tickets). After that the Tauros will stay home and welcome the North Iowa Bulls to the Magic City for the first time as they join the NAHL and Central Division (tickets). For details and to stay plugged in on all things Tauros download the Tauros Hockey mobile app. Be sure to have the app downloaded prior to the home opener on Saturday October 2nd as one lucky fan will win a $25.00 gift card from Aspire Credit Union just for checking in to every home game!