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Headed West

By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com

 

The Minotauros head to Wenatchee as part of a four game 11 day road trip which sees the Tauros get their second looks at the Wenatchee Wild and the Fresno Monsters.  This weekend the Tauros take on the Wild who are 11-2-1 and sit in first place in the West Division.  Tonight and tomorrow’s games start at 9:05 p.m.

The Wild took both meetings between the two clubs here in Minot, spoiling the Tauros home opening weekend and now the Tauros looks to return the favor.  Minot’s roster transformation has been well documented since the pair of losses to the Wild but there will probably still be some bad blood from what was a physical pair of games in late September.

The Tauros are lead offensively by their captain Tim Donohue 11 points (6g, 5a) and his line-mates Lucas Oliver (3g, 7a) and Cameron Rowat (2g, 5a).  The key to the Tauros offense has been the powerplay which accounts for 14 of Minot’s 30 goals and is ranked third in the NAHL.  However with the long trip the high school aged players will not play this weekend instead they’ll rejoin their teammates in Fresno.  That means the Tauros will be without Mason Morelli who has been especially dangerous with the Tauros up a man as five of his six points including all three of his goals have come with Minot up a man.  Defenseman Jake Clifford has six of his seven helpers on the powerplay but will not be on the first leg of the trip.

Besides being without Morelli and Clifford the Tauros powerplay will also be tested by Wenatchee’s top ranked penalty kill.  While the Tauros come in scoring on 21.5% of their powerplays, the Wild kill 92.1% of the penalties they’ve taken.  Jono Davis leads the Wild and the entire NAHL with 24 points (13g, 11a) so far on the season.  Davis posted two goals and an assist in the two meetings between these teams in Minot.

In goal Robert Nichols posted a 26 save shutout against the Tauros while Evan McCarthy stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced. For the Tauros Ryan Ruck allowed a pair of goals on 21 shots against the Wild, while Tyler Parks had not yet returned from the USHL and didn’t face the Wild. 

Player(s) To Watch: Steven Sherman and Jake O’Borsky; both players started the year in Wenatchee before becoming Tauros.  Sherman was released by the Wild after an injury derailed his training camp.  He has one goal for the Tauros which came shorthanded against the Wild.  O’Borsky was acquired via trade after playing six games with the Wild.  Since his arrival he has three assists in four games played. 

Watch the Games: This weekend’s game will be available on fasthockey.com, also follow us on twitter and facebook for updates.  The Tauros stay on the road until November 17th when they return home to take on rival Bismarck.  Tickets are still available, get yours now to join the Madness in the Maysa!