Minot, ND – The Minotauros bounced back from a disappointing defeat on Friday with a record book rewriting win Saturday night. The weekend split with the St. Cloud Blizzard keeps the Tauros in second place for the time being pending the result of Sunday night’s game between first place Bismarck and the Aberdeen Wings.
Friday night (box score) the Tauros fell behind early and could not fight back. Max Johnson, Brady Bjork, and former Tauro Ryan Green had St. Cloud up 3-0 by the 15:06 mark of the opening period. Cade Stibbe scored a power play goal late in the period on a give-and-go play with Nik Armstrong-Kingkade to pull the Tauros back in to the game. The Tauros pushed back hard in the second outshooting the Blizzard 19-6 but Sam Metcalf stopped every Tauro shot while Bjork added his second of the night to push the St. Cloud lead to 4-1. Cole Hanson restored some hope for the Tauros scoring 2:32 into the third but Bjork ended any comeback chances with a late empty net goal to complete the hat trick.
Saturday night (box score) Bjork struck again to give the Blizzard a 1-0 lead but Stibbe answered back just 10 seconds after play resumed. Jack Suchy however scored a few minutes later and once again the Tauros found themselves trailing after the first period. Kyler Kleven wasted no time giving the Tauros life in the second scoring two goals on his first shift of the period at 1:28 and 2:03 of the period. The lead change started a seesaw period that saw six goals scored. Suchy’s second of the night tied the game at three. Stibbe restored the Tauro lead only to have Ryan O’Neil answer for St. Cloud. Late in the period Dan Russell scored a wrap-around goal to push the Tauros lead to 5-4. Then the Tauros blew the doors off in the third scoring six goals giving them 11 for the night, both new franchise records for goals in a period and in a game. Jack Westlund opened the scoring in the third at 4:01 of the period and added another at 7:30. Between Westlund’s markers Hunter Bjorge netted his third of the season. Westlund’s second also ended Metcalf’s night as the Blizzard turned to Tyler Bost in relief. The new goalie did little to stem the tide as Kleven scored to completed the twelfth hat trick in Tauro history. Armstrong-Kingkade and Russell added another goal each to close out the Tauros scoring.
Next up for the Tauros is a home-and-home series with the Bismarck Bobcats Friday and Saturday night. The series opens in Bismarck before returning to the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena for the Scheels Teddy Bear Toss game on Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. Tickets for Saturday night’s game are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page.