by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros and Blizzard, played a pair of games for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend, in Brookings, the Tauros took both games, and were looking to do the same at home on Friday and Saturday nights. The Blizzard however had revenge on their minds and took the Friday opener 4-2, before the Tauros bounced back with a 2-1 shootout win on Saturday night.
As should be expected when two divisional opponents meet for four in a row tempers flared, as the teams combined for two fights and 104 penalty minutes total on the weekend. On Friday night Beau Ricketts won a fight with Trey Olson (clip), then on Saturday Max Pernhem and Wyatt Schmidt squared off to a draw (clip) in one of the best fights fans at the Maysa Arena have seen.
Friday saw the two teams play a tight first period which finished scoreless. The game remained tied after two periods as the teams exchanged power play goals less than two minutes apart when Jake Howie put a rebound behind Austin Priebe (clip) to answer Branislav Rapac’s goal. Schmidt gave the Blizzard a lead early in the third, but Tyler Shipstad drew the game even again on a breakaway goal after Brandon Parker fell down at his own blue line. The tie score did not last long however as just 24 seconds later the Blizzard’s Jeff Flicker beat Brandon Wildung and less than three minutes after that Conor Andrle added an insurance goal.
For the first time over the two weekends the Tauros were the first team to score on Saturday night. Cam Rowat netted his team leading fifth of the season (clip) midway through the first when he put a rebound of Pernhem’s point shot in behind Priebe. Merrick Madsen would stop 33 of 34 shots through regulation and overtime with Russ Jordan’s second period power play goal being the only blemish. Despite Madsen’s excellent play behind them the Tauros were unable to put another puck past Priebe, so the game went to a shootout (clip). The goaltenders continued their dominance of the shooters in the skills competition, but Colton Kramer was able rip a shot past Priebe in the fourth round and Madsen stopped all five of the Blizzard’s attempts to get the Tauros the win.
Next up for the Tauros is a weekend series with the Bismarck Bobcats. The Bobcats sit in third place in the Central Division, nine points ahead of the Tauros. Friday night’s game is in Bismarck and starts at 7:15 p.m. Then on Saturday night the teams return to the Maysa for a game that starts at 7:35 p.m., fans who bring a canned food item will receive $2.00 off of their ticket to the game.