Aberdeen, SD – The Minotauros pushed their winning streak to five before ultimately seeing it end this weekend in Aberdeen. On Friday the Tauros picked up their fifth consecutive win with 4-3 victory but then dropped a 4-2 decision on Saturday to see the streak end. The five-game win streak ties the longest the Tauros have had each of the last three seasons.
On Friday night the Tauros turned to Carter Clafton in net for the first time in nearly a month. Cade Neilson snuck one past Clafton just 3:10 into the game but Clafton responded however making 15 saves in the period. The Tauros fought back before the first break with a pair of power play makers, the first a blast from Ben Johnson and the second a redirect by Braydon Beahm. For Beahm it was his third goal of the season and gave him a goal in each of the Tauros games against the Wings.
Just 40 seconds into second Zack Simon scored his 13th of the season on a tip play at the side of the net to make it 3-1 Tauros. The Wings would try to pull even with Jacob Bosse scored to cut it to 3-2 but Christian Kadoph got his first of the year on a bar-down bomb from the right point to restore the two-goal lead. A late power play goal by Jackson Yee would pull the Wings back within one heading into the third. The Wings through everything they had at the Tauros in the third outshooting them 15-3 in the final period but Clafton stopped every attempt to hold on for the win.
On Saturday night the Tauros again fell in a 1-0 hole when Ronan Walsh scored on the power play tipping a loose puck on a net-mouth scramble that just barely crossed the goal line. Just 22 seconds later however Braden Panzer would get his second of the season redirecting a feed from Matin Friden to tie the game. Colby Joseph gave the Tauros the lead on the first shift of the second period after Simon won a board battle and found him in front to make it 2-1 Tauros.
After that however fatigue clearly caught up with the Tauros. Playing their third game in four nights it became increasingly clear that Aberdeen, who had not played earlier in the week was the fresher team. Neilson got his second of the weekend to tie the game in the third, and then Seamus Campbell scored on a long shift during which the Wings had the Tauros hemmed in their own zone. The Wings would add an empty netter in the game’s final minute to push the final to 4-2.
The Tauros do get some much needed rest this week, having already played 25 games, the most of anyone in the division and missing two of their three leading scorers to injury the Friday off comes at an ideal time. The Tauros will return to the ice Saturday in Bismarck for their lone game on the week. After that the Tauros will head south again for another Friday and Saturday set in Aberdeen before returning home to the Pepsi Rink for the final weekend before the Christmas break.