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Minotauros wrap up road sweep over St. Cloud Blizzard

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — With the race to the NAHL playoffs heating up, the Minot Minotauros couldn’t afford to drop any points this weekend against the St. Cloud Blizzard, the bottom feeders of the Central Division.

Minot (27-15-7) manufactured 12 goals in two games to extend the ongoing losing streak for the Blizzard (10-37-5) to 13 games. The Minotauros won 7-4 Friday night and then 5-3 on Saturday in St. Cloud, Minn.

Saturday’s contest featured a slight scare. After Wilhelm Wassberg and Cade Stibbe put Minot up 2-0, St. Cloud stormed back with three second-period goals to lead 3-2.

Kyler Kleven tied the score back up at 3-3 with 55 seconds left in the middle frame. Kleven then surfaced again with his 25th goal of the season to put Minot ahead halfway through the third period.

Dan Russell found his 21st goal of the season with less than five minutes remaining to seal the Minotauros’ 5-3 win.

Kleven, Russell and Nik Armstrong-Kingkade have all scored 20-plus goals this season. This is the first time in the Minotauros’ nine-year history that they have had three players score 20 or more goals in a season.

With an assist on Wassberg’s opening goal, Kleven became the eighth Minotauro in franchise history to reach the 50-point plateau in a single season.

Sam Skinner also made history on Friday for setting a new record for most points by a Minotauros defenseman in a season. He currently sits at 39 points (nine goals and 30 assists).

The road weekend sweep keeps Minot firmly in fourth place in the Central Division standings — two points back of the Austin Bruins in third place with two games left in hand and five points clear of the Minnesota Wildnerness in fifth place with three games left in hand.

The Minotauros still have 11 games left in the regular season (seven at home). They return to the ice on Wednesday for a rare mid-week showdown at Maysa Arena against the Bismarck Bobcats. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Follow the Minot Daily News on Twitter @MinotDailyNews.

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