By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros will finally have a weekend off and it cannot come at a better time. In the midst of a five game losing streak, which come on the heels of a stretch during which the Tauros went 9-1-1. The schedule has not done the Tauros any favors either; since returning to Minot after Christmas the Tauros have played four games in six days. Special teams was the primary culprit for the Tauros this series, the Tauros allowed four power play goals and a shorthanded goal against over the two game set.
On New Year’s Eve the Tauros carried play for most of the first two periods. A Tim Donohue power play goal just after the halfway point of the first period gave the Tauros a 1-0 at the end of the frame. Donohue redirected Jon Lizotte’s shot from the point up and over Zach Quinn for his eighth goal of the season. Alec Butcher answered with a power play goal of his own just 16 seconds into the second to tie the game at one. It did not take long for the Tauros to answer, at 3:53 of the second Jake McCann deflected Scott Dornbrock’s point shot past Quinn to make it 2-1 Tauros. That score held at the end of the second, and the Tauros had outshot the Brown Bears 28-19. The third period however was all Bears. Jack Gessert scored a power play goal at 3:40 to tie the game at two. Then with two Tauros in the box and less than five minutes to play Frankie Spellman scored the eventual game winner.
New Year’s Day did not go much better for the Tauros on special teams. Kenai struck first with their first even-strength goal of the series with just 11 seconds remaining in the first. The Tauros answered back early in the second and answered loudly. Jadin Martin scored his first goal since September at 3:28 of the second on a scramble in front of the Brown Bear’s net. Less than two minutes later d-man Max Pernham scored on the power play giving the Tauros a 2-1 lead. McCann then added his team leading ninth goal on the season at 9:49 of the period to give the Tauros a 3-1 lead. The offensive outburst lead to the Brown Bears taking their time out, and the strategy worked. With the Tauros on the power play Conor Deal scored a shorthanded goal just 29 seconds after McCann’s marker. Jacob Davidson scored four minutes later and suddenly the game was tied. Butcher added his second power play goal of the weekend in the third period to give the Bears a 4-3 lead and that score held as the final.
The Tauros next game will be Monday night in Dickinson, ND when they take on Bismarck in an exhibition game. The next real game will be January 10 in Austin, the next home game will be January 18th against the Brookings Blizzard.