By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
The Minotauros head to Richfield, Minnesota for a meeting with the expansion Minnesota Magicians. Minot has won four of the last six games scoring 18 goals over that time, a sign that perhaps the offensive woes that lead to an eight game losing streak are in the rear view mirror. Over the same time Magicians are 2-2-2 and are sitting in fifth in the Midwest division.
The Tauros offensive turn around has been keyed by the emergence of the new top line. For the last six games Cam Rowat has been joined by new comers Troy Degler and Jake Howie. The line has combined for seven goals and 10 assists over the last six games. Tyler Shipstad and Colton Kramer each also have chipped in with 2 goals over the last five games as well. The offense’s improvement has come despite continued power play struggles scoring on just two of the last 28 man advantages. In net Brandon Wildung and Merrick Madsen continue to split time with both posting three wins on the season.
Despite being an expansion team the Magicians have several players familiar to the Tauros. Magicians leading scorer Nicholas Kuchera (4g 10a) and his brother Derick; both faced the Tauros as members of the Wenatchee Wild last season. Former Brookings Blizzard Eetu Karvinen is third among Magicians in scoring with a four goals and five assists. Most familiar to the Tauros and Tauros fans is Cody Milligan, who has a goal and five assists for Minnesota. Former Bobcat Bryan Nies appears to have been edged out in goal by Atte Tolvanen who’s .919 SV% is .030 better than Nies’s.
Friday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m., while it’s a 7:05 p.m. start for Saturday’s affair. Both games can be seen on Fast Hockey. After returning from the road this weekend the Tauros face their one of their busiest weeks of the season with a Thanksgiving appetizer in Bismarck on Wednesday and a home series against Aberdeen the Friday and Saturday after Turkey Day. Tickets for both home games are still available by clicking on the “tickets” tab atop this page.