By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros have not lost a game in regulation since their 4-1 loss to the Bobcats on December 6th, the Bobcats have not lost since the Minotauros bested them 4-1 on New Years Eve; the two will meet in Minot tonight to put those streaks to the test. The rivalry has never been hotter between the two teams and both are at the top of their games with neither club losing outside of a shootout to anyone than each other since Bismarck lost to the Minnesota Wilderness on November 28th.
The Tauros are 5-1-1 on the season series against the Bobcats outscoring them 32-17 on the season set. Tauros leading scorers Christian Mohs (12g 26a) and Blake Lizotte (10g 29a) have lead the way so far with 7 goals and 16 assists combined against the Bobcats. Chase Springman (9g 14a) and John Snodgrass (7g 9a) each have 4 goals against the Bobcats to be tied with Mohs for the team lead. In net Atte Tolvanen (18-7-3 1.96gaa .923sv%) and Tanner Holmes (6-1-1 2.14gaa .915sv%) each have a shutout against the Bobcats on the season.
For the Bobcats co-captains Cullen Willox (14g 22a) and Evan Giesler (20g 14a) have paced the offense against the Tauros with Willox leading in assists with five and Giesler in goals with three. With the Tauros heavily outscoring the Bobcats in the season series along with six of the Bobcat’s goals coming on the power play no Bobcat player is rated a plus against the Tauros on the season, and only three are even. In net both Alex Bitsakis (13-7-1 2.49gaa .911sv%) and Hunter Shepard (7-9-0 3.16gaa .890sv%) have struggled though Shepard has fared better getting both a regulation win and a shootout win while Bitsakis is 0-4-0 against the Tauros this year.
The game with the Bobcats kicks off a potentially huge weekend for the Minotauros. With Friday and Saturday games in Aberdeen the Tauros have a chance to set new franchise and league records. A sweep would get the Tauros to 27 wins on the season, surpassing the 2012-13 team’s standard of 26. Two wins in Aberdeen would move the Tauros to 15 consecutive road wins, passing the 2008-09 Topeka Roadrunners record of 14 consecutive road wins.
All three of the Minotauros games will be available on fasthockey.com. Tickets for Thursday’s home game against Bismarck can be purchased online by clicking the “tickets” tab atop this page. Fans who purchase their tickets in advance and print them at home not only avoid the line on game night but also get $1.00 off of their next order from the Spicy Pie.