By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Bismarck, ND – 2015 was a banner year for the Tauros, it saw them win their first playoff series in franchise history, move several players on to play NCAA DI and DIII hockey, and sit atop the Central Division for almost all of the first half of the 2015-16 season. The Tauros remain tied atop the NAHL Central with the Austin Bruins but a poor showing against the Bobcats has allowed the hate rival to pull within two points of first place. In fact, the top five teams in the Central are all within five points of each other; which means the Tauros can not afford any further missteps as they had coming out of the Christmas break.
On Friday night in Minot (full box) the first and second periods followed the same pattern; the Bobcats Jared Pike (10g 8a) and Alex Strand (14g 11a) would score twice and then the Tauros would answer with a goal of their own. Chase Springman (8g 9a) scored late in the first to cut the Bobcat lead to 2-1 and Jack Murphy (10g 6a) in the second to cut it to 4-2 going into the third. The Tauros pressured firing 12 shots on goal in the final frame but could not draw even before the Bobcats hit the empty net to win 5-2.
On Saturday (full box) the Tauros opened with a strong period on the road outshooting the Bobcats 8-7 and keeping the game scoreless and the fans mostly quiet. However a power play goal for Nick Wallace (2g 5a) that deflected off of a Tauro defender’s stick broke the scoreless tie and seemingly the Tauros spirit. The Tauros were outshot 14-4 after that goal and the Bobcats added on two more goals to make it a 3-0 final.
After a day off the Tauros will host the Aberdeen Wings on Saturday night. The Tauros beat the last place Wings 7-1 on the last day before the Christmas break and will need a repeat performance to wash the taste of the previous two games from their mouths. Tickets for Saturday night’s game against Aberdeen are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page.