by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros have struggled on special teams of late sending the team on a season worst losing streak of four games despite strong play at five-on-five. Over the last four games the Tauros have gone 2 for 14 on the power play while allowing the Bismarck Bobcats and Minnesota Magicians to combine for 10 power play goals on 22 chances. The Tauros have outshot their opponents during the four game slide 141-111 but have been unable to climb out of the hole created by their special teams.
Johnny Walker (14g 13a) still leads the Tauros in scoring and his 71 career points are tied with Jadin Martin for tops in Tauro history. Behind Walker Austin Martinsen (9g 7a) and Jack Murphy (8g 4a) are second and third on the team in goals while Christian Mohs (6g 14a) and James LaDouce (5g 14a) are tied for the team lead in helpers. Lucas Murray (2.38gaa .907sv%) and Jon Flakne (2.71gaa .897sv%) continue to split time and have seen their numbers take a hit with the Tauros penalty kill struggles.
After a slow start to the season the Bobcats come in playing their best hockey of the season going 7-3-0 over their last 10 including their current five game winning streak. They have outscored opponents 22-7 over those five games. Willie Brown (10g 13a) and Aaron Herdt (9g 14a) are tied atop the Bobcats with 23 points each. Alex Strand (12g 10a) is third on the team with 22 points and has four goals and an assist against the Tauros this year. In net Hunter Shepard (2.17gaa .918sv%) has played 22 of the Bobcats 25 games, the newly acquired Nick DeSimone (2.57gaa .924sv%) has yet to see action since being acquired from Johnstown.
Friday night will be the Tauros Teddy Bear Toss Night, fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed animal and throw it to the ice when the Tauros score. Last season the Tauros collected over 400 bears for the Minot Police Department and Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center. Tickets for the game are still available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page.