By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Bismarck, ND – The Minotauros did not get the start they wanted on Saturday night falling behind 2-0 to their hated rival the Bismarck Bobcats; but they did get the result winning 4-3 at a packed Maysa Arena. Now the annual preseason series shifts to the VFW Sports Center in Bismarck with the Tauros looking to sweep the Cats.
Both teams sat several key veterans on Saturday night, but that will most likely change tonight as real games inch ever closer. For the Bobcats this will be their final dress rehearsal before they open the season against Austin on September 18th. The Tauros still have two exhibition games in Canada this weekend before heading to Brookings to open the year the same night.
When these two teams met last Saturday the Tauros had only had two days of practice under their belt. After a few more practices the coaching staff expects the team to be sharper. Head Coach Marty Murray said; “we’re looking for execution. We spent a lot of time on systems; hopefully our attention to detail and system gets better on a daily basis.” Just because the game does not count in the standings does not mean players will hold back. Saturday’s game was a physical affair, with players both trying to ensure their roster spot or send messages that will last through the regular season.
The Tauros and Cats will not have to wait long to reignite the rivalry for real as the Tauros will head to the VFW again on October 3rd. That Cats do not make their first trip up Highway 83 until November 10th. A rivalry that was dominated in the Tauros early years by the Bobcats has evened out the last couple of years with the Tauros sweeping the Bobcats out of the playoffs last spring in the teams’ only postseason meeting.
Tonight’s game will be on fasthockey.com, click the “Away Audio” to listen to Tauros announcers Ken Oda and Nick Hulberg on the call.