By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Brookings, SD – The Minotauros went to Brookings looking to add to their NAHL record 15 game road winning streak; a Blizzard overtime goal on Friday night was the only thing that kept the Tauros from having a successful trip. While the overtime loss snapped the Tauros run of good fortune away from home, first place Minot was able to take three out of a possible four points and guarantee the franchise’s first .500 season.
Friday night’s game was a back and forth affair. Nick Monfil’s (10g 11a) first period goal was answered by Zed Dietrich (7g 6a) less than a minute later. In the second Jake Dittel’s (3g 7a) power play strike was answered by Viktor Lindell (10g 6a) to have the teams tied at 2-2 after two periods. The Blizzard struck first in the final frame with a power play goal of their own when T.J. Samec (3g 3a) beat Atte Tolvanen (2.07gaa .917sv%) to make it 3-2 Blizzard with just 5:07 to play. Chase Springman (11g 16a) however was able to restore the Tauros hopes with a power play goal at 16:46 to tie the game at three. The hope would be short lived though as just 1:32 into overtime the Blizzard leading scorer Beau Michaud (14g 28a) scored to give Brookings the win and end the Tauros road streak at 15 wins.
Early in Saturday night’s game it appeared that the fans would be in for a similar back and forth affair. John Snodgrass (10g 10a) scored at 4:38 of the period only to see Brookings draw even at 5:46 on a Nate Colwell (6g 20a) goal. However Springman’s second on the weekend at 18:20 of the first pushed the Tauros back ahead going into the first intermission. The teams traded chances in the middle frame registering a combined 29 shots on goal with 15 of those for the Tauros, yet the game remained 2-1 until the middle portion of the period. Colton Kramer (7g 9a) and Christian Mohs (13g 29a) scored to push the Tauros ahead 4-1; but a late Michaud power play goal cut it to 4-2 headed into the dressing rooms. Monfils and Snodgrass goals at 10:02 and 13:17 respectively removed any drama from the finish though as the Tauros cruised to a 6-2.
The Tauros remain on the road next weekend with a trip to Minnesota to face the Wilderness. The Wilderness swept the Tauros at the Maysa earlier this season in the teams’ only meetings so far this year. After heading to take on the Wilderness the Tauros will return to the Maysa on Valentine’s Day for what is sure to be a love-fest with the rival Bismarck Bobcats. Tickets for that game are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page, or buy purchasing season tickets. Fans who buy season tickets now for the remainder of the regular season at a prorate rate also get the first round of the playoffs free!