Minot, ND – The Tauros took three of four points from the Aberdeen Wings this weekend with a pair of gritty performances to pull within a point of the Wings for third place. The weekend success also moved the Tauros just two points of the Austin Bruins for second and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The weekend started with a see-saw affair on Friday night that saw the teams trade goals, leads, and more before the Wings ultimately picked up the extra point via shootout. Wing Captain Kyle Gaffney opened the scoring just 1:45 into the game signaling the explosiveness that would define the night. Dean Schwenninger answered for the Tauros with his 11th of the season on a penalty shot after he was hooked on a breakaway attempt in the middle portion of the period. After the Wings retook the lead Nicholas O’Hanisain’s first as a Tauro with just 1:04 to play before the first intermission pulled the Tauros level headed into the first break.
Tauros Captain Cole Mickel would open the scoring in the second period giving the Tauros a lead but defenseman Will Gilson answered to keep the teams tied headed into the third. The Wings would twice take leads in the final period, first Dominic Schimizzi’s first Wings goal would be answered by Colby Joseph. Then after Jacob Bosse scored with just 3:35 remaining and Huston Karpman was called for roughing with 1:52 left it appeared the Tauros hopes were dashed. However before the Tauros could even pull Zach Sandy for an extra attacker Schwenninger found Brayden Beahm breaking through the middle of the ice despite having Hugo Allais draped on his left shoulder Beahm made a move to his backhand and beat Anton Castro to tie the game.
The Tauros would finish the kill into overtime but neither team could find a goal during the three-on-three overtime sending the game to the skills competition. Castro would stop David Nesburg, Schwenninger, and Karpman while Sandy would stop Gaffney and Schimizzi before Cade Neilson would find the game winner in the third round.
Saturday night the Wings came out looking to hit their way onto the scoreboard but it was the Tauros who found the net first. Just 21 seconds into the game Ronan Walsh was called for a five minute major and game misconduct for a hit on Mickel sending the Tauros to the power play. The Tauros would not cash in on that man advantage but a minute after it ended Jackson Yee was called for roughing for a hit on Nikolai Charchenko and Colby Joseph would score with Yee in the box. In the second period Will Gilson would get the Wings a power play goal of their own this time with Beahm in the box for slashing. With Yee in the box for a second time Beahm would pick up his second on the weekend early in the third to give the Tauros a 2-1 lead. Both Tauro power play goals were set up by Trevor Stachowiak and Graham Skinner. Karpman would add an empty netter against his former club with just five second remaining. Lassi Lehti stopped 38 of 39 in leading the Tauros to the win.
Next up the Tauros and Wings meet again, this time in Aberdeen to close out the month of February. The Tauros will return home the first weekend of March when the Austin Bruins come to Minot for the final meetings between the Tauros and Bruins in the regular season. Tickets are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here.