by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros kick off the home slate this Friday and Saturday with a rematch with the team that ended the Tauros’ season at the Maysa just over five months ago. The Tauros come in having had the best start at the NAHL Showcase in franchise history after going 1-2-1 at the season opening event. After for games against teams from other divisions the Tauros can turn their attention to last season’s Central Division champs, the Austin Bruins.
The Bruins went 4-0-0 at the Showcase despite losing several key cogs off of last season’s team. Still on the club however is NAHL leading scored Jay Dickman. The Bruins forward had 55 points last season and already has six goals and two assists through four games this year. Second on the club in goals is newcomer Niko Hildenbrand, with four goals. Guillaume Leclerc has seven points on the young campaign on three goals and four helpers. Just as was the case last season backstopping the Bruins in Nicholas Lehr. Lehr has three of the Bruins four wins and has allowed a total of five goals in those three games.
For the Tauros the offense has come from the top line that features two veterans in captain Tim Donohue and assistant captain Jadin Martin along with second round draft pick Jack Forbort. All three members of the trio have two goals on the season and Donohue and Martin each have an assist as well. Defenseman Michael Bigelbach leads the Tauros’ blueliners in scoring with three assists through the first four games. In net expect to see Brandon Wildung who played all four games at the Showcase and newcomer Merrick Madsen to each get a game. Madsen, the 162nd player taken in last June’s NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, was acquired by the Tauros from the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL last week.
Tauros head coach Marty Murray noted that it had been an “exciting and busy week” with preparations for the home opener, the acquisition of Madsen, and the departure of assistant coach Mick Berge to Lincoln of the USHL; and that while it would be easy for guys to get distracted, “our home fans should get us pumped up and ready to go against a good team coming in.”
Both games this weekend will drop the puck at 7:35 p.m. and can be seen on fasthockey.com. Tickets for both games are still available by clicking here, or on the “tickets” tab atop this page. Avoid the lines and purchase and print your tickets at home.