by Ken Oda
Minot, ND - The Minotauros have had a splitting headache that last three weekends winning on Friday night only to lose on Saturday missing the chance to sweep opponents and gain in the standings. After a come-from-behind victory on Friday night in Bismarck the Tauros took the ice Saturday looking for a sweep for the fourth weekend in a row.
First on Friday night the Tauros fell behind early, very early. Jacob Marti scored to give the Cats the lead just 1:35 into Tauro goalie Ben Garrity's return from injury. Marti redirected a shot from Lars Christian Rodne past Garrity, but after that Garrity was locked in. Unfortunately for the Tauros so was the Bobcats Andrew Miller. Neither team would score again until the middle of the third. Braeden Bartoo pulled the Tauros even 9:20 into the third snapping a shot over Miller into the top of the net. The game appeared headed to overtime tied at one a side but as Wilhelm Wassberg's interference penalty expired Trea Irey punched a rebound past Garrity on the rush to give the Cats a 2-1 lead with 1:32 to play. The Tauros had little time to pull even, and the situation appeared more dire as Kyler Kleven's game tying goal was waived off. None the less the Tauros continued to pressure and with 11 seconds left Kevin Ness hammered home a rebound to send the game to overtime tied at two. 3:02 into the extra session Will Crull would finish a feed from Cody Sherman to give the Tauros a 3-2 win on the road.
Saturday night the Bobcats again struck first with Adam Stacho taking advantage of a misplay by the Tauros defense and squeezing a puck between Garrity and the post with just 29 seconds left in the opening period. The lead would not last long however as just 60 seconds into the second Kleven scored his 19th of the season to pull the Tauros even. Sherman than scored his first as a Tauro 8:59 into the period to give the Tauros their first regulation lead of the weekend at 2-1. That score held into the third period. The Bobcats pressured out shooting the Tauros 17-5 in the final frame. Late in the game as the pressure mounted the Tauros Joseph Harguindeguy was called for holding, then 36 seconds later Nik Armstrong-Kingkade was called for interference. With the Cat's net empty the Tauros were effectively killing a six-on-three power play and the Tauro faithful roared their support with each Garrity save. The Tauros goaltender stood tall with help from the Tauros penalty killers and when the final horn sounded the Maysa crowd erupted.
The win moved the Tauros ahead of both the Bobcats and Austin Bruins for second place in the Central Division. Next up the Bruins come to Minot next weekend for a pair of games starting with Friday night's Superhero night presented by Liberty Tax. The first 700 children in attendance will receive a free superhero mask.
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