K-Heart Sports – 03/26/23

K-HEART SPORTS – 03/26/23 – 0700
MASON CITY, IA (MINOTAUROS) – The Minotauros went to North Iowa looking to improve their position in the playoff race but a bad third period Saturday night saw them fail to walk away with the sweep they needed to pull closer to Aberdeen.
On Friday night the Tauros jumped out to an early lead scoring just 4:51 into the game with captain Trevor Stachowiak firing a shot off the cross bar an in just 4:51 into the contest. The Tauros would pour it on for the rest of the period striking three more times to take a 4-0 lead into the locker room. Colby Joseph picked up his tenth of the season redirecting a pass from Nick O’Hanisain while the Tauros were on the power play to make it 2-0 Tauros. Chase LaPinta made it 3-0 with his 29th of the season when he retrieved his own rebound and lifted a backhander in. Blake Steenerson then added his first junior goal late in the period off of a feed from Joe Blackley who had two assists in the period. From there the Tauros leaned on goaltender Noah Rupprecht getting outshot 28-15 the rest of the game. The Bulls did not break through until early in the third when a puck bounced off of Logan Dombrowsky’s chest and in. A couple more goals with less than five minutes left for North Iowa increased the drama but with just over two minutes left Joseph was able to draw a penalty sending the Tauros to the power play helping them kill the rest of the clock.
Saturday night the first period passed scoreless and while the Tauros were outshot 17-10 in the frame they had the better of the scoring chances. The offenses exploded in the second period starting just 1:08 in with John Emmons ripping a shot just over Mitch Day’s shoulder to give the Tauros the lead. Jackson Bisson would knot the game at one 7:31 later with a quick shot off the draw. In the middle portion of the period the teams would trade shorthanded goals first Kolby Amici on a hard working goal stole the puck behind the Bulls net and cut to the front beating Day five hole with a backhand. Just over two minutes later Tristan Kimmen was awarded a penalty shot after it was ruled he was slashed on a breakaway and he converted to once again tie the game at two. But with just 22 seconds left in the period Nick Sewecke battled in front and on his third whack picked up his fifth of the season to make it 3-2 Tauros heading into the third. The Bulls would tie the game early in the third but LaPinta would answer back restoring the lead with 12:35 to play in regulation. The goal was LaPinta’s 30th of the season making him just the second Tauro ever to post 30 markers in a single year. A pair of miscues however just 18 second apart late in the period would see the Tauros fall behind for the first time all weekend as the Bulls Nolan Abraham and Simone Dadie would give the Bulls a 5-4 lead. Try as they might the Tauros could not find the equalizer and had to settle for a split on the weekend.
Next up for the Tauros is a weekend trip to Aberdeen for a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. After that the Tauros will return home for their final regular season home series of the season on April 7th and 8th against the Austin Bruins.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND) – Senior forward and assistant captain Judd Caulfield announced on Friday that he will be exercising his extra year of eligibility and returning for his fifth season at North Dakota in 2023-24. “I am extremely excited to come back for another year,” said Caulfield. “I’m so glad to have the opportunity to play for such a great organization and community.” Caulfield has been a constant in the North Dakota lineup over his four years with the program, appearing in 133 career games, including 93 straight dating back to his sophomore season. The Grand Forks, N.D., native has reached double-digit points in each of his four campaigns, notching a career-high 20 in 2021-22, to total 29 goals and 33 assists for 62 points. This past year, Caulfield tallied 10 goals and nine assists to finish just shy of another 20-point mark. He was one of UND’s top defensive forwards as well, registering 17 blocks, a shorthanded goal and finishing with a plus-8 rating. Off the ice, Caulfield is a four-time NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete and AHCA Academic All-America Scholar.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (NDSU) – North Dakota State senior Jacob Rodin was voted the 2023 Summit League Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, the league office announced Friday. Rodin (Kenmare, N.D.) is the first Bison man to be named the Summit League Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. The Bison have claimed Indoor Field Athlete of the Year five times in the past decade, but Rodin is the first to earn the top track honor. Rodin captured Summit League titles in the 800m, 4x400m relay, and distance medley relay this season, and was the only man to win three gold medals at the Summit League Championships. He ranked 35th in the NCAA for the 800m with his NDSU school record time of 1:47.84. Rodin was the second-fastest in the league for the 400m dash this season, running 47.39 to rank second in NDSU history. He also clocked a school-record 1:17.88 in the 600m to rank 30th in Division I this year. Rodin earned five Summit League Peak Performer of the Week honors in the span of six weeks in January and February. He was also voted to the indoor Academic All-League team this season for the fourth time in his career. The Summit League awarded one overarching Athlete of the Year honor through 2009, before it was split into separate Track Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year awards. NDSU’s Matt Bishoff in 2009 was the last winner of the overall honor before the split.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Ryan Hartman scored with 1:11 remaining in the third period to send the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Ryan Reaves and Frederick Gaudreau also scored for Minnesota. Filip Gustavsson made 22 saves in goal. The Wild have points in four straight games after their franchise-record 14-game point streak was snapped on March 18. Minnesota started the day a point behind Dallas, which hosts Vancouver, for the lead in the Central Division. Lukas Reichel scored for Chicago, which has lost four in a row. Former Wild goaltender Alex Stalock made 22 saves for the Blackhawks.

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