By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros opened up the home portion of the 2013/14 NAHL campaign with a loss to the Austin Bruins, but came back the next night and topped Austin handing the defending Central Division champions their first loss of the young season. The weekend meetings were the third and fourth consecutive home games in which the Bruins provided the opposition after the Tauros hosted the Bruins in games three and four of last season’s first round playoff series. The Bruins eliminated the Tauros in that series three games to one.
On Friday night (full box, highlights) the Tauros came out intent on limiting the Bruins’ high scoring offense and with the exception of a 1:50 span they did so. The Bruins had posted 19 goals in their four games at the showcase. The Tauros struck first at 14:30 of the second when Scott Smoot got a shot past Nick Lehr (clip). That goal would set off a flurry that would see five total goals scored in three minutes and 18 seconds of game time. The Bruins potent offense answered Smoot’s goal just 16 seconds later when Dominik Florian beat Brandon Wildung. Then Jay Dickman at 15:41 of the second followed by Guillaume Leclerc at 16:36 both scored to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead. Tauros captain Tim Donohue then scored (clip) on the power play to cut the lead to 3-2 at 17:48 of the second. That was as close as the Tauros would get however as the third passed without any score for a 3-2 final.
Saturday night (full box, highlights) saw the offense come much sooner into the night for both squads. The Bruins opened the scoring at 7:59 of the first when Luke Dietsch beat Merrick Madsen who was making his first start for the Tauros. This time it was the Tauros who answered quickly as less than two minutes later Jon Lizotte scored (clip) on a shot off of a faceoff win by Jake Johnson to tie the game at one. Jadin Martin’s power play goal (clip) late in the first had the Tauros ahead 2-1 after the first period.
Early in the second frame the Bruins were able to tie the game at two when Sam Kauppila beat Lizzote at the Tauros blue line and walked in alone to fire a wrister past Madsen. Once again however the Tauros where able to respond, Scott Dornbrock playing in his 50th NAHL game took a pass from Donohue at the Tauros blue line. He then broke all the way down the ice beating a Bruins defender and then cutting across the top of the blue paint to beat Lehr to the far post with the backhand (clip). The Tauros defense would limit the Bruins high powered offense to just 20 shots in the game and Dornbrocks goal held up for the game winner. Jake McCann hit the empty net (clip) with nine seconds remaining to push the final to 4-2.
The win improved the Tauros’ record to 2-3-1 on the early season with a trip to Wenatchee to take on the new look Wild next weekend. The Wild are 3-3-0 on the season.
Win A Trip: The Tauros are sending 12 lucky season ticket holders to Winnipeg on November 18th to watch the Jets and Flames play. Winners will be drawn during Minotauros home games. The winning season ticket holders will ride the Minotauros bus to Winnipeg and then watch the game from a luxury box at the MTS Center. There are four draws left so get your season tickets now to increase your chances to win. Season ticket information can be fount atop this page by clicking the “tickets tab.”