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Flying to the Finish

By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com

Minot, ND – The Minotauros have had a road heavy schedule all season, as the team enters the final ten game stretch it is finally time for the schedule to balance out.  An eight game home stand starts tonight with the season’s final meeting with the Aberdeen Wings.  The game holds large implications in the standings by both clubs; the Tauros sit two points behind the Bismarck Bobcats for first place in the Central Division while the Wings hold a three point lead on both Brookings and Minnesota for the fourth and final playoff spot. 

The Tauros lead the season series with a 7-2-2 record against the Wings and have outscored them 34-24 on the season series.  The Tauros have controlled the play for the most part as well outshooting the Wings 404-314.  Derek Frentz (14g 16a) leads the Tauros with five goals and four assists against the Wings.  Carter Roo (7g 20) also has nine points in the season series on three goals and six assists to lead the Wings against the Tauros.  Peter Thome (14-15-8) has a 3-2-3 against the Tauros with a 2.67 GAA over eight games against the Tauros.  Lucas Murray (15-10-1) and Gunner Rivers (12-9-3) each have played four games against the Wings with two wins apiece.

The Tauros come into the game as one of the hottest teams in the league; riding a 12-2-2 run over the last 16 games dating back to January 9th.  The Wings have gone 8-7-4 since then, but are playing some of their best hockey of the year with 5-2-0 stretch over the last seven games. 

After tonight’s game the Tauros host the Blizzard and Magicians the next two weekends followed by a Thursday date with Bismarck.  Then the Tauros close out the home portion of the regular season schedule by hosting Austin on April 1st and 2nd.  The Tauros finish the regular season in Brookings.  The Tauros are two wins or Blizzard and Magicians’ losses from clinching a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive season.