Austin, MN – The Minotauros moved into first place in the Central Division with a weekend sweep of the Austin Bruins. Overall the Tauros took three of four from the Bruins over the last nine days turning a three point standings deficit into a one point lead.
On Friday night (box score) the Tauros and Bruins held each other in check early with neither team generating many chances. As a result the game would head to the first intermission a scoreless tie. A Garrett Dahm cross checking penalty late in the first however meant the Tauros power play carried over to the start of the second. Connor McGinnis found Andrew Kangas all alone on the right side of the ice 49 seconds into the second and Kangas ripped a shot past Kyle McClellan for his seventh of the season. The power play goal gave the Tauros a 1-0 lead that Tauros’ goalie Nicholas Grabko would not surrender. Unfortunately the Tauros also would not give Grabko much more offensive support as the 1-0 lead stood until the 18:46 mark of the third when Didrik Henbrant hit the Bruins empty net to ice away the win.
Saturday night (box score) fans did not have to wait nearly as long to see some offense. Henbrant opened the scoring 55 seconds into the game with help from Lincoln Erne and David Raisanen. Andrew Willis scored 30 seconds later to tie it up after finding a loose puck in front of Grabko. Fritz Belisle broke the tie late in the period with a blast from the right circle for his eighth of the season to make it a 2-1 lead for the Tauros heading into the first intermission. That score held until late in the second when Belisle and Keenan Lund took the puck away in the offensive zone while working shorthanded. Lund found Belisle walking out of the corner who then roofed a shot over Brett Miller from between his own legs to give the Tauros a 3-1 lead. The Bruins would pull back within one after Grabko turned the puck over behind his own net misplaying a dump in and Dante Zapata tapped it into the vacated net. In the final minute however Justin Kelley hit the empty net to restore the Tauros’ two goal lead for the victory.
Next up for the Tauros is a busy home week with the Tauros Salute to Service game on Monday night followed by a home series with the Brookings Blizzard on Friday and Saturday nights (get tickets now). With a successful week the Tauros could put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division as Aberdeen is off and Bismarck heads to Austin on the weekend.