Aberdeen, SD – The Minotauros came into the weekend on the brink of elimination and leave it in the driver’s seat for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central after sweeping the Wings in Aberdeen. Friday night the Tauros routed the Wings with a wire-to-wire dominating win, Saturday the Tauros impressed with a never-say-die comeback victory stunning the Wings in the third.
Friday Chase LaPinta scored just 1:08 into the contest to give the Tauros an early lead. The goal was his 31st on the season and set a new franchise single season standard. The Tauros doubled the lead early in the second when Weston Knox found a lane through traffic and got his fourth of the season. LaPinta would make it 3-0 later in the period with a rocket on the power play. Nick Comfort would fling a prayer through traffic to pull the Wings back within two goals but LaPinta would put an exclamation point on the night with a hat trick late in the period to put an end to Aberdeen’s hope. Adding insult to injury Kolby Amici added a shorthanded goal with just four seconds remaining to make the final 5-1.
Saturday night neither team was able to get much going through the first period and much of the second but the Wings eventually struck first on the power play 8:40 into the second to take a 1-0 lead. That score held until the third when Amici buried a rebound for his 12th of the season just 3:02 into the period. Knox then gave the Tauros the lead with 5:54 to play with a shot on the rush that beat Geno Pichora clean. From there Noah Rupprecht shut the door as he had pretty much all weekend, he allowed just two goals on 60 shots faced to pick up the weekend sweep.
The victories move the Tauros into a tie with the Wings at 58 points on the season. The Tauros however have the tie-breaker with 28 wins compared to the Wings 26. The Tauros could now clinch a playoff spot as early as next Saturday with a sweep of the Bruins and Aberdeen and Bismarck losses.
The Tauros finish the regular season with four consecutive games against the Austin Bruins starting Friday night on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena. Next weekend is fan appreciation weekend stay tuned to our social channels for details. Tickets for the weekend games are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by visiting tickets.minotauroshockey.com.