By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com (photo credit: Halle Kadrmas)
Minot, ND – The Minotauros took care of business this weekend against the basement dwelling Aberdeen Wings with a sweep of a two game set on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena. The sweep, combined with losses by second and third place Minnesota and Brookings has the Tauros comfortably in first place in the NAHL Central Division by 10 points.
On Friday night the Wings came out quickly when Carter Roo opened the scoring just 31 seconds into the game beating Austin Park on the first shot of the game. That was all that would get by Park for the night however as he stopped the next 29 chances Aberdeen had. Meanwhile, with the Tauros on the power play still early in the first, Chase Springman picked up his eighth goal of the season. Then with 2:20 left in the period Alex Adams found a rebound in front of the Aberdeen net and put the Tauros ahead for good with his 16th of the season. Reid Stefanson added an insurance goal late in the second and the third passed without a goal for a 3-1 Tauros win.
Saturday saw a similar start when Tyler Bossert tipped a Carter Roo shot for another early Aberdeen 1-0 lead. This time the Wings were able to add on when Bossert scored again at the 10:49 mark to make it 2-0 Wings. Nate Pionk finally got the Tauros on the board with 4:40 to play in the opening stanza off of a cross-ice pass from Tyler Jeanson. Jeanson continued his takeover of the game in the second when he turned a one goal deficit into a one goal lead. 22 seconds into the second Jeanson drew the Tauros even with his 13th of the season. Just over five minutes later Jeanson gave the Tauros the lead, he picked the puck out of a scrum along the wall before driving the net and flicking a backhand past Forbes Ploszaj from an impossible angle. Bossert capped off a hat trick in the middle of the period to draw the Wings even. The 3-3 stalemate held until late in the third when Spencer Zwiener won a race down the right wing and flung a centering pass intended for Derek Frentz but it hit a defender and slid past Arttu Kulmala who had taken over for Ploszaj after Jeanson’s second of the game. Zweiner’s fourth goal of the season held up over the final 2:34 as the game winner to secure a weekend sweep for the Tauros.
Next the Tauros head to South Dakota for three games in three nights starting with a rematch with the Wings in Aberdeen on Thursday followed by games in Brookings on Friday and Saturday nights. The following weekend the Tauros will be in Cloquet, MN for a pair before finally returning to the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena on the weekend of February 10th and 11th for games against the Blizzard and Wilderness.