After downing Minot in their own building Friday night, the Minotauros fought back to skate to a 3-1 win over the Aberdeen Wings Saturday night at the Pepsi Rink inside Maysa Arena.
Interestingly, the only goals in the game came on the power play, with Minot’s final goal on an empty net.
It was a physical game from the very start. Just 21 seconds into the contest, Ronan Walsh got called for head contact and was ejected from the game. But the Wings killed off his five-minute major penalty before going on the kill once again, and Colby Joseph took advantage of the extra attacker to get Minot on the board first. The remainder of the period was filled with more penalties — at the end of the opening period, Minot was 1-3 and the Wings were 0-2. Aberdeen outshot Minot 12-9 but skated into the first break down by one.
Minot took another penalty just over two minutes into the second period and the Wings needed just 31 seconds to even the score — that’s when Dominic Schimizzi passed the puck to Will Gilson, who fired a rocket from the blue line into the back of the net. The power play goal was his second on the weekend and tenth overall, while Schimizzi notched his first assist as a Wing and twelfth overall, and Jackson Yee got his sixth.
Each team had another chance on the power play in the middle stanza and Wings goaltender Anton Castro made some big saves to keep the score tied at one apiece as the teams headed into the final break.
Minot got the go-ahead goal they were looking for just under five minutes into the third on yet another power play goal, this time from Braydon Beahm. The Wings went on the kill for the sixth time in the game later in the period and kept Minot from scoring, even taking a couple night shorthanded looks. But with 1:40 left in regulation, Castro headed to the bench — and with five seconds remaining in the game, Huston Karpman found the empty net to seal the deal and helping his team grab the 3-1 win.
After the tough start to the game and finding themselves down early, Wings head coach Steve Jennings was proud of the way his team fought back to stay in the game.
“I was pleased that they dealt with early adversity and got back into it,” he said.
Overall, the Wings went 1-4 on the power play while Minot got 2-6 with the extra attacker. The Wings outshot the Minotauros 39-32, with Castro denying 29 of the 31 shots he faced.
Gilson had three points on the weekend (two goals and one assist), along with Jacob Bosse (a goal and two assists). Schimizzi added a goal and an assist, while Yee and Landry Schmuck each added two assists.
Aberdeen (23-18-1-2) and Minot (32-21-1-1) will face each other again next weekend, but this time on home turf at the Odde Ice Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, with the puck hitting the ice at 7:15 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets ahead of the game online at tickets.AberdeenWings.com or grab a ticket when doors open on game nights. $10 general admission tickets can also be purchased at any C-Express location in Aberdeen, with additional purchase.
“We’ll get back to work on the things that make us successful,” Jennings said of the weekend ahead, which will be the final time the two teams meet in the regular season. “So we’ll go through the important aspects of the game, and of course work on goal scoring and special teams.”
Stay tuned to AberdeenWings.com or follow the Wings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more details on the upcoming games.