by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros came into the weekend in second place in the division and remain there after splitting a series with the Brookings Blizzard. Friday night saw a disappointing effort from the Minotauros in a 4-1 loss; but the Tauros bounced back with a dominating 3-1 win on Saturday night.
Friday night the Tauros played a fairly even first period but still trailed 1-0 at the end of the frame. Then in the second period the wheels came off for the home squad. Former Tauro Bo Gronseth scored just 97 seconds into the frame. Then a Connor Hutchins power play goal sent Atte Tolvanen to the bench for the night at 10:30 of the period. Just 3:28 later Zach Glienke added another power play goal for the Blizzard beating Tanner Holmes to make it 4-0. Blake Lizotte scored a power play goal for the Tauros late in the third to break the shutout.
The next night the Tauros came out with more energy outshooting the Blizzard 16-2 in the first period. Despite the shot advantage the game was still tied through 20 minutes. Chase Springman broke through for the Tauros with a power play goal 90 seconds into the second. Then midway through the period Jon Lizotte picked up the puck in his own zone and carried it down the left wing boards. The Tauro captain carried it all the way behind the Blizzard net and then found Troy Degler alone in front to double the Minot lead. Even though the Tauros held a 29-5 shot advantage after 40 minutes they only lead by one thanks to a Jimmy Morgan goal late in the second period. That 2-1 score would hold until the final minute when Jake Howie scored into the Blizzard empty net to push the final to 3-1.
Next up: The Tauros play three games in as many days next weekend as they head to Bismarck on Thursday for their first real meeting with the Bobcats this season. Then on Friday and Saturday the Tauros return to the Maysa for a pair with the Aberdeen Wings.