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Minotauros stun Wings 3-0

Ryan Ladika/MDN Jay Buchholz (center) takes a shot on a breakaway during the final seconds of the first period.

The Minot Minotauros earned their second win of the season against the first-place Aberdeen Wings 3-0 on an emotional Tuesday night at Minot’s Maysa Arena.

The Minotauros have been a longtime partner with the Domestic Violence Crisis Center to raise money and support for survivors of domestic violence, and the team wore specially-made teal, black and purple jerseys during the game in honor of April being sexual assault awareness month.

Minot is also sponsoring the “Walk a Mile” event taking place April 17-24, geared toward “celebrating consent and healthy boundaries with a self-paced, sexual assault awareness walk at Roosevelt Park,” the informational flyer states. Registration for the event is $25 per person, and the first 100 participants will receive a “thank-you” gift bag. More information can sought by calling the DVCC at (701) 852-2258. The jerseys will later be auctioned off through the DASH (Digital Auction Showdown) app with the majority of the proceeds going back to the DVCC.

Minot also held a brief moment of silence before the singing of the national anthem in honor of the three-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos’ tragic bus accident in Armley, Saskatchewan, Canada April 6, 2018 that claimed 16 lives and injured 13 more.

Following the opening puck drop, the Minotauros came out strong against the team they have struggled to defeat all season long. Minot turned to 19-year-old netminder Carter Clafton in his eighth start of the season and third against the Wings. Clafton allowed 11 total goals on 91 shots In his previous two games against Aberdeen this year.

Forward Ethan Schmunk got the offense started for the home five just before the midway mark of the first frame. Logan Anderson gained possession of the puck behind the Wings’ net and flicked it to Schmunk’s waiting stick just outside the crease. The forward smoothly slid the puck right past an unsuspecting and unprepared Jake Sibell to give Minot the early lead.

The goal was Schmunk’s eighth of the season and third in his last three games dating back to his two-goal, three-point performance April 2 against St. Cloud. Anderson’s assist was his eighth of the campaign and extended his point streak to three consecutive games. He has also recorded at least one point in seven of his last 11 contests.

Clafton stood tall throughout the first period as well, turning aside all 13 shots Aberdeen threw at him to lead his team to a 1-0 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play.

The Minotauros found themselves in some hot water halfway through the second period, when Nikolai Charchenko and Christian Kadolph committed subsequent interference and slashing penalties midway through the frame.

Minot’s penalty kill, succeeding at a clip just over 70 percent at home this season, again came through against the Wings’ top-ranked power play, dispatching of the 5-on-3 man advantage to keep the game scoreless. Despite being outshot through 25-14 through two periods, the Minotauros still clung to their one-goal lead entering the final frame thanks to stellar play by Clafton between the pipes.

The Minotauros were again able to solve Sibell in the final frame, when Cade Stibbe beat the Aberdeen goaltender for his 10th score of the season. Charchenko and Mason Campbell added their sixth and seventh helpers of the season, respectively, on Minot’s late insurance goal.

A scary moment happened just after the 10-minute mark of the final frame. Kadolph took a knee to his right leg from Wings skater Natan Vertes and collapsed just outside the blue line near center ice. Ryan Peterson stood up for his teammate and dropped the gloves with Aberdeen’s Cade Neilson. Both players received game misconducts for fighting, and Vertes was also sent to the box for kneeing. The Minotauros faithful cheered for Kadolph as he was helped off the ice, unable to bear wight on his leg.

Minot held the Wings off the scoreboard the remainder of the contest and added a third tally with a tick under five and a half minutes to play, thanks to a power play goal scored by captain Jack Westlund. The Minotauros earned their 20th win of the season and handed Aberdeen just its third regulation loss of the season in the dominant victory. Clafton saved every one of the 36 shots he faced in his first shutout win of the season.

The Minotauros will return to the ice Friday night against the Minnesota Wilderness at Northwoods Credit Union Arena following the one-game homestand. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Minot State men defeat Jamestown 5-2 on the road

The Minot State men’s hockey squad, also in action Tuesday night for the first time since March 18, defeated the Jamestown Jimmies 5-2 to open a home-and-home two-game series to conclude the regular season.

Rhett Lough and Drew Carter both found the back of the net in a two-goal first period for the Beavers, scoring their seventh and ninth goals of the season, respectively.

Adam Wowryk scored his 13th goal of the year and sixth in his last eight games in the middle frame, and added his second tally of the game in the third period. Carter Barley finished the Jimmies off with his 16th goal of the season, breaking a tie with Nick Doyle for the team lead in that category.

The Beavers will be back in action for their regular season finale Wednesday night against the Jimmies at Maysa Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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