Loud and Clear
By Ken Oda
Brookings, SD - The Minot Minotauros opened divisional play with an impressive road sweep of the Brookings Blizzard. The Tauros opened the weekend with a 7-0 victory on Friday night and followed it up with a 6-0 win on Saturday.
Andrew Kangas opened the scoring on Friday (full box) with his fourth goal of the season just 6:45 into the game. By the end of the period two more Tauros, Lincoln Erne and Fritz Belisle, added their third goals of the season and the Tauros were in clear control. The Blizzard pushed back with their best period of the weekend outshooting the Tauros by a 16-4 margin but Nick Grabko stopped every Brookings bid to preserve the 3-0 lead. The Tauros put removed any drama from the affair in the third adding goals from Nick Petruolo, David Raisanen, Wilmer Skoog, and Matthew Gellerman to put the game out of reach. In net Grabko stopped all 10 Brookings third period shots to finish his first career junior shutout making 29 saves total.
The Tauros followed Friday's 7-0 victory with an even more dominating effort on Saturday (full box) posting six goals and limiting the Blizzard to just 16 shots-on-goal. Taylor Lantz opened the scoring 8:22 with a fantastic individual effort getting to the high slot and snapping a shot over the McLean Dorr's shoulder. Just a minute later Didrik Henbrant doubled the Tauro lead and it the Tauros were off and running again. Unlike the night before there was no strong pushback from the Blizzard in the second as the Tauros outshot them 8-4 in the period while getting goals from Kangas and Spencer Kimball to double their lead. Skoog's second of the weekend 1:27 into the third again removed any doubt regarding the outcome other than whether or not Ben Garrity would finish with his first shutout, which he did stopping all five third period shots by the Blizzard. Petruolo added his second goal in his second game as a Tauro on the rush with just 28 seconds left to play to push the final to 6-0.
In total 16 Tauros recorded at least one point including 11 players who had multiple points on the weekend. At the other end of the ice with Grabko and Garrity each having a shutout all three Tauros goaltenders now have one with Reid Waszczenko having already shutout Corpus Christi at the NAHL Showcase. The Tauros have now won five games in a row and outscored opponents 28-2 over that span.
Next up for the Tauros is a home-and-home set with the Bismarck Bobcats. The weekend opens in Bismarck on Friday before the Tauros finally play their first home game of the season on Saturday night. Only two teams, Jamestown and Odessa, have a longer wait to play their home opener this season. Prior to the game on Saturday the Tauros will unveil their Central Division Championship Banner. Tickets for the Home Opener are available through the "Tickets" tab atop this page.
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North American Hockey League Stories from September 30, 2018
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