By Andrew Lennox Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros came out of Christmas break looking to end a five-game losing streak. After a restful few days, the Tauros were able to get back in the win column defeating Bismarck 4-3 Thursday in the Magic City.
Winter weather caused a postponement of the game on December 16th. The contest was rescheduled for December 29th, kicking off a set of three consecutive games against Bismarck.
Thursday, Minot took little time to jump to an early first-period lead. Just 5:25 into the game Trevor Stachowiak scored his sixth marker of the season, following up on his rebound to make it 1-0. Justin Dauphinais and Bryce Howard logged the assists.
After Stachowiak’s goal, there was a slight delay in the contest as the Tauros annual Teddy Bear Toss took place. The Teddy Bears go to several causes in north, central and western North Dakota.
The break in action didn’t slow Minot down as Chase LaPinta capitalized on a Bobcats turnover sending him in on a breakaway. Bismarck’s netminder Hunter Garvey made the initial save off the rush, but LaPinta was able to cash in on the rebound to make it 2-0. For LaPinta, it was his 11th tally. The goal was unassisted.
Shortly after the second goal in period one, the Tauros would strike on the power play to make it 3-0. Dauphinais scored while parked in the slot after receiving a beautiful pass from Chase LaPinta. Defenseman Joe Blackley also assisted on the tally.
Two goals were scored in the second period. Bismarck’s Kyle Doll scored first, making it 3-1. Then, just minutes later, at the 7:41 mark, Hunter Longhi sniped from the top of the circles to make it 4-1. It was Longhi’s tenth goal. The assists came from Joe Blackley and Colby Joseph.
The final twenty minutes started with Bobcats defenseman Landon Fleming scoring, narrowing the gap to 4-2. Adam Pietila picked up the assist.
Midway through the final frame, Bismarck made it 4-3 as Calvin Harris buried the biscuit. Brandon Reller provided the helper.
The two in-state rivals battled for the last nine minutes in regulation, but Minot was able to hold on to a huge 4-3 win after coming off Christmas break.
Tauros goalie Lawton Zacker fended off 28 of 31 shots to collect his ninth win.
The same two teams meet again on Friday at 7:35 pm CST at the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena.
Friday started with Bismarck’s Patrick Johnson recording his seventh marker in the 2022-23 campaign just 3:58 into the period to make it 1-0.
The first period concluded 1-0 in favor of the Cats, with Minot unable to tie it up. Bismarck led the first in shots on goal by a margin of 8-6.
Bobcats kicked the second frame off with Calvin Hanson, scoring to make it 2-0.
Minot would cut the lead in half, making it 2-1. Ancaster, Ontario native Adam Mahler logged his second goal as a Tauro. Helpers came from Colby Joseph and Ben Johnson.
The Tauros were able to even the score up at 2-2 when Joe Emmons tallied his third goal of the season with assists from Cameron Boche and Ben Johnson.
Just thirteen seconds later, Bismarck’s Cal Hanson would tally his second marker of the game as the Cats took over the lead again at 3-2.
Bismarck would not be heard from again as the Tauros scored two unanswered goals. The first tally came from LaPinta with assists from Emmons and Joseph.
Bryce Howard would add the next marker to take the lead 4-3 at the 12:53 mark. Howard’s goal was his second tally as a Tauro, and it turned out to be the game-winner.
Minot won 4-3, making it their second consecutive win after losing five straight.
After a stint in the USHL, goalie Noah Rupprecht earned his first win as a Tauro, stopping 22 of 25 shots.
Both teams head 110 miles south to faceoff again tomorrow night at the VFW Sports Center in Bismarck with a 7:15 pm CST start time. Minot will look for a three-game sweep to close out 2022.
Saturday, Chase LaPinta scored his 12th of the season just 36 seconds into the first period to make 1-0. Longhi and Emmons added the assists.
Minot wouldn’t score again until the 15:16 mark when Cameron Boche scored off a redirected Tory Lund shot from the point to take a 2-0 lead. For Boche it was his first goal as a Tauro after starting the season with the Wisconsin Windigo.
Bismarck would cut the lead in half to 2-1 when Calvin Hanson added a tally 21 seconds later.
The Tauros again would jump ahead by two goals when Colby Joseph deflected a Trevor Stachowiak shot from the point on the power play to make it 3-1. Patrick Johnson picked up the secondary assist.
Into the second frame, the Bobcats cut Minot’s lead to 3-2 after Adam Pietella scored off a rebound. However, Bismarck trailing by a goal was shortlived as Trevor Stachowiak scored soon after registering his seventh goal this year. Tauros regained the two-goal lead to make it 4-2.
Calvin Hanson helped the Bobcats bounce back again, making the score 4-3 still for Minot. They would strike again late in the second period to tie the contest up at 4-4 going into intermission.
The seesaw affair would continue into the third frame as Hunter Longhi logged his first marker of the night, which was a power-play goal. Then, at 14:25 of the period, Bismarck would score again with a turnaround wrister by Erik Atchison from the high slot, evening the score at 5-5 late in the third.
The hard-fought third period would result in the Bobcats not scoring again. Minot’s Bryce Howard took the lead back as he scored with 27.2 seconds left in regulation. Tauros went up 6-5 with the tally. Hunter Longhi would seal the deal with an insurance marker as the Tauros close the weekend with a crucial road win beating Bismarck 7-5.
Minot swept the three-game series and ended 2022 on a positive note.
With 2022 in the books, the Tauros kick off 2023 without having to leave the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena for a month. The next seven games for the Tauros all take place at home starting this Thursday as the Tauros celebrate Agriculture Appreciation Weekend with three games against the St. Cloud Norsemen. Tickets for all three games are still available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here.