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By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The best start in Minotauros history continued this week as the Minotauros swept the Aberdeen Wings. Coming off of a 4-0-0 showing at the NAHL Showcase the Tauros opened divisional play with a dominant performance over the Wings as they improved to 6-0-0 to start the year.
On Friday night (full box) the Tauros opened the scoring early in the second when Alex Adams netted his third goal of the season on a tip from the slot (highlight). Derek Frentz doubled the Tauros lead on an odd man rush later in the period (highlight) finishing a nice pass from Adams into a wide open Aberdeen net. Luke Davison had secondary assists on both of the Tauros second period goals. Shawn Knowlton scored 1:14 into the final frame to make it interesting down the stretch but Adams hit the empty net in the final seconds (highlight) to ice the victory away. In total Lucas Murray made 22 saves in improving to 3-0-0 on the season getting the win in net for the Tauros.
Saturday night (full box) the Tauros again did not open the scoring until the second period when Kyle Craddick scored his first goal as a Tauro finishing on a 2-on-1 with Nate Pionk (highlight). Then the Tauros pulled away in the third period. Jack Murphy scored his second of the season on a tip play from the doorstep (highlight) followed by Miroslav Mucha (highlight) and Brock Montgomery (highlight) each netting their first goals in crème and cardinal to push the final to 4-0. Eric Dop made 32 saves in the shutout.
Next up for the Tauros is a trip to Aberdeen for the Wings home opener on Friday night followed by a return to the Maysa for the first meeting with the rival Bismarck Bobcats on Saturday night.
By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Blaine, MN – The Minotauros and Lone Star Brahmas promised to be one of the marquee match-ups of the 2016 NAHL Showcase, and the two clubs didn’t disappoint. The Tauros finished last season with the 6th best record in the NAHL and the Brahmas the 3rd. The two teams met in a packed arena on Sheet 4 of the Schwann Super Rink and put on a fantastic show for fans and scouts alike.
The first two periods passed without a goal but as momentum switched back and forth between the teams the stellar play in the Tauros net by Eric Dop became the early story. Coming off of the previous games season opening shutout by Lucas Murray it started to feel as if the 2016/17 Tauros would never give up a goal. However despite hitting two posts the Tauros could not solve Brahmas’ goaltender Austin Smith either and despite 40 minutes of hockey the teams entered the third period in a scoreless tie.
However with just 6 seconds remaining in the second Justin Addamo was whistled for roughing on a post-whistle scrum in the Tauros’ crease and that penalty carried over to the start of the third. The Tauros finally broke through when Alex Adams redirected Jake Dittel’s shot from the point past Smith to open the scoring at 1:05 of the third. Lone Star pushed back turning the momentum back in their favor with physical play and eventually Grayson Gavin was called for roughing after retaliating after a scrum along the wall got out of hand. Austin O’Rouke scored on the ensuing power play, ending the Tauros season opening shutout streak at 112:54 and knotting the game up at 1-1.
The rest of the third period passed just as the first two periods; without a goal, and the teams went to overtime. The teams traded chances playing three-on-three and with just under 2 minutes left in the extra session Nolan Sawchuk found Jack Murphy with space at the Lone Star blue line. Murphy’s shot was stopped but Smith left a rebound and Gavin, fresh off the bench from a change hammered it home to give the Tauros the win.
Next up for the Tauros is Day 3 of the 14th Annual NAHL Showcase and a 2:15 p.m. start against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights. The Knights are 2-4-0 on the season including a 1-1-0 record at the Showcase. After a hard fought battle with Lone Star and playing three games in as many days the Tauros have reached the portion of the Showcase in which fatigue may become a factor. However the Knights played last weekend and then traveled to the Showcase from Pennsylvania and should be just as fatigued as the Tauros.