EISEN: The miraculous run of the Minotauros
BLAINE, Minn. – I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
So much so that I texted sports editor Garrick Hodge to let him know how bad the Minot Minotauros were looking in this early season affair back in October.
While I can’t remember exactly what I hastily wrote in that moment, I do remember being in awe of the Minotauros’ mediocrity. Things like simple passes were getting intercepted and they were trapped in their defensive zone for minutes at a time.
This team had no resemblance whatsoever to the Central Division regular season champion Minotauros from a season ago. It was difficult to watch. Even harder trying to take photos of a team that hardly had possession of the puck.
So, I can’t say I was surprised when those Minotauros were sitting in last place in the Central Division throughout a majority of the first half of the 2017-18 season.
They certainly looked the part.
If you would have told me that same team I watch in October would make the North American Hockey League playoffs, I would have respectfully questioned your bias toward the hometown town.
If you would have told me that same team would go on to win the first Central Cup in the franchise’s history, I probably would have laughed hysterically.
If you would have told me that same team would knock off the No. 1-seeded Fairbanks Ice Dogs by rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the third period of Game 3 of the NAHL semifinals, I would have responded back with sarcasm myself and said, “And someday I will be the owner of an NHL franchise.”
And if somebody had the courage to tell me those dysfunctional Minotauros would go on this insane postseason run all the way to the Robertson Cup championship game, I would have just walked out of the room with no interest in even continuing that conversation.
The reality is, and I can’t believe I’m typing this, all of that happened.
Sure, it didn’t end with franchise’s first Robertson Cup and that’s going to sting for a while. But, what the Minotauros accomplished this season was remarkable in its own right.
The stuff that makes cheesy sports movies unbearable, happened here in the most unimaginable way. A fairy tale of unbelievable greatness through sheer determination.
From unwatchable to the Robertson Cup final, this will go down as one of the best underdog stories ever told. Just when everyone thought it couldn’t be done, the Minotauros proved otherwise again, again and again.
All that’s left to do now is roll out the red carpet because everyone in the Minotauros’ organization deserves earnest praise and recognition for resurrecting a once sinking ship and turning it into a championship game appearance.
This is the opinion of Alex Eisen. He covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.