The St. Cloud Norsemen battled until the end but couldn’t muster enough offense to get past the Minot Minotauros on the road Friday night, falling by a score of 4-1.
The Norsemen drew first blood but in an unlikely circumstance as the first goal of the game came as they had a man in the box. Minot had a great power play scoring chance end with the puck sitting atop the crease and it was swept away by the Norsemen but not out of the zone. The Minotauros fired a shot from the inside portion of the right circle that goaltender Ethan Dahlmeir stopped and the rebound was sent wide behind the net. From there Broten Sabo skated it up to the right wing boards to center ice and hit Tyler Dysart at Minot’s blue line. The last man back stepped up but missed Dysart, who danced around him, then Dysart cut in on a partial breakaway and fired in the top corner just inside the left goal post and under the crossbar, over the blocker of Lawton Zacher. That lead wouldn’t last long though, as St. Cloud killed off the remainder of the penalty but Minot would capitalize seconds later. Minotauro defenseman Nick O’Hanisain fired a shot from the right point that Dahlmeier stopped, and he was able to fight off the second attempt but the third with bodies all around him proved to be nearly impossible and Kolby Amici potted the goal and we went into the second period tied 1-1.
As the horn sounded to end the first Minot was whistled for an elbowing minor and St. Cloud started the second on the Rambow power play, but it was the Minotauros that would take advantage of the extra space on the ice. Trevor Stachowiak and John Emmons aggressively forechecked at center ice and Emmons poked the puck free and skated onto it, then shot and scored on the breakaway to give Minot the 2-1 lead 1:37 into the second. That score would hold up through two periods and both teams managed 8 shots on goal in the second period, with St. Cloud having a 21-19 edge after two were complete.
To start the third period Minot had a great setup with Jack O’Hanisain taking the puck from the below the St. Cloud goal line, skating it backwards along the left wing side and banking a pass to Colby Woogk at the point. Woogk threw a shot on net that Dahlmeir had lined up for the save but Nicholas Sewecke, standing in the slot, was able to deflect the puck and pull it away from the goaltender to give Miont a 3-1 lead 3:03 into the third. The Norsemen pulled Dahlmeir for the extra attacker but strong forechecking by Chase LaPinta forced a turnover down in the St. Cloud end and he roofed a shot into the empty net to ice the game 4-1 at the 18:38 mark. The Minotaruos outshot the Norsemen 11-6 in the final 20 minutes and Minot had a 30-27 advantage for the game. Both teams were unable to convert on the power play all night with St. Cloud going 0-for-5 on the man advantage while Minot went 0-for-3 on the power play.
The two teams are back at it again Saturday night with the puck dropping at 7:35 and the game can be viewed at hockeytv.com. The Norsemen’s next home game is on Thursday, March 30th, with tickets available at tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com.