Minot, ND – The Minotauros and Aberdeen Wings battled to a weekend split as each team came back from 2-0 deficits to pick up wins. The split keeps the Tauros ahead of the Wings and St. Cloud Norsemen as the trio battle for third in the Central Division setting up another important home weekend starting Friday with the Norsemen coming to Minot for a pair.
Thursday night the Tauros jumped out to an early lead when Zack Simon got the Tauros on the board 6:53 into the first. Dean Schwenninger doubled the lead at about the same point of the second on a great individual effort. Less than a minute later however the Wings began their take over. At 7:53 of the second Ronan Walsh scored on the power play to cut the Tauro lead in half and then Chase Davis tied it with another power play goal 3:05 later. Jackson Yee and Patrick O’Connell would add even strength markers in the final 90 seconds of the period to put the Tauros in a 4-2 hole.
The Tauros pushed back in the third but could not crack Dominik Wasik before needing to pull Zach Sandy for the extra attacker. Cade Neilson would hit the vacated net to make it 5-2 Wings and ice the game away. The Tauros appeared to get new life again however when Braydon Beahm got behind the Wings defense and scored his first career junior goal to cut the deficit back to two with 1:07 to play but the Tauros would get no closer before the final horn.
Saturday night the game followed a similar script, just with the roles reversed. Aberdeen jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from Walsh and Owen DuBois; DuBois’s goal came shorthanded and seemed to take the wind from the Tauros sails for the rest of the first period.
The Tauros would get a shorthanded goal of their own however to start their comeback when Colby Joseph buried a Huston Karpman rebound on the rush to cut it to 2-1 Wings. On that same power play Walsh got his third of the weekend into a wide open side off of a nice feed from Cade Neilson. The Tauros matched that power play strike with their own during a five-on-three advantage late in the period in which Simon scored with help from Karpman and newcomer Connor McGrath.
McGrath was not done on the afternoon though as he redirected a Christian Kadolph shot past Greg Orosz to tie the game 1:56 into the third. The teams would remain deadlocked until late in regulation when Beahm walked out of the corner and roofed a backhand shot past Orosz to give the Tauros their first lead of the night. Sandy made it stand up the rest of the way and the Tauros earned the split.
Next up for the Tauros is a Friday/Saturday matchup with the St. Cloud Norsemen. The Tauros split with the Norsemen on Halloween weekend in St. Cloud; both games start at 7:35 p.m. The Circle Sanitation Fill-the-Bin Coat Drive continues this weekend as well, fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used coats or winter gear to put in the Circle Sanitation bins near the main doors.