Aberdeen, SD – The Minotauros swept the Aberdeen Wings in Aberdeen for the first time since January 29th and 30th of 2016 this weekend to hold on to first place in the Central Division. The Tauros followed a wire-to-wire win on Friday night with a thrilling comeback victory on Saturday for the sweep.
David Nesburg opened the scoring with his sixth of the season just 1:03 into Friday’s game with a shot that trickled through Dominik Wasik. Connor McGrath doubled the lead in the middle of the period with a wraparound goal. The Tauros pushed it to 3-0 early in the second when Zack Simon buried a Joe Westlund rebound. The Wings would get a power play goal with just 23 seconds in the period to make it 3-1 heading into the third. Carter Clafton stopped all 14 shots in the third and Simon added an empty netter to make the final 4-1.
On Saturday night it was the Wings turn to jump out to a 2-0 lead after one. Ronan Walsh scored both for the Wings to put the Tauros in an early hole. The Tauros bounced back early in the second with Huston Karpman scoring 1:26 into the second and Braydon Beahm just 1:31 later to tie the game at two. For Beahm it was his fifth goal of the season, four of which have come against the Wings. After Hugo Allais scored on a long shot through traffic the Tauros turned to Clafton to come on in relief of Zach Sandy. Despite allowing three goals on 18 shots Sandy continues to lead the NAHL in save percentage at 93.2%. Connor McGrath tied the game at three for the Tauros with a tip in front of Aberdeen’s Jack Wieneke but a power play goal for Cade Neilson restored the Wings one goal cushion heading into the third.
The third period would see the Tauros fail to capitalize on a pair of power plays but Blake Arneson would play the hero with just five seconds left sliding a puck from the point past Wieneke to tie the game. Overtime would pass without either team scoring. Simon opened the shootout with a goal and Clafton stopped Landry Schmuck in the bottom of the round. Beahm was stopping the second round and Neilson answered to tie the shootout through two rounds. Karpman scored to start the third beating Wieneke five-hole despite his stick breaking on the shot attempt and Clafton made it hold up stopping the Wings final shooter.
The win sets up a meeting of the two teams tied for first in the Central with the Austin Bruins coming to Minot next weekend for the Tauros final games before Christmas break. Saturday’s game is the annual SCHEELS Teddy Bear Toss game with Bears going to support several Minot not-for-profits. Tickets to both games are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here.