Minot, ND – The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the 2016-2017 schedule, it will be the Minotauros’ sixth season in the NAHL. The Tauros will open the season at the 14th annual NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN, September 21st through the 24th. The Tauros opponents at the NAHL Showcase will be announced by the league at a later date.
After the NAHL Showcase the Tauros will return to Minot for their home opening weekend against the Aberdeen Wings on September 31st and October 1st, both games will start at 7:35 p.m. Bismarck makes their first appearance at the Maysa Arena the following weekend on October 8th.
The newest addition to the Central Division, the Minnesota Wilderness make their first appearance of the season at the Maysa Arena on Veterans’ Day. The Tauros have struggled against the Wilderness going 2-8-2 against them since the Wilderness joined the NAHL three seasons ago.
The Tauros will face the rival Austin Bruins October 28th and 29th in Austin, it will be the first meeting for the two clubs since the Bruins knocked the Tauros out of the playoffs last spring. The Bruins will not make their first trip to the Magic City until the final weekend of February.
The Tauros’ tradition of a home heavy schedule in the month of March will change this year with just three home games in the final full month of the regular season. The Tauros will host Brookings on the 10th and 11th, and then Austin will make their second trip to Minot on 31st. That Austin series will carry over to April 1st. The Tauros will then close the regular season the following weekend hosting the Minnesota Wilderness on April 7th and 8th.
Aside from the NAHL Showcase event the Tauros have five other weekday games. All five of those games land on Thursday nights and four of them set up difficult three game in three night stretches. All four three game in three night stretches will also require travel. Roster depth will be key to surviving these stretches in what will most likely once again be the NAHL’s toughest division.
The addition of the Wilderness, who followed the 2015 Robertson Cup title with a Midwest Division Finals appearance, in place of the Minnesota Magicians who failed to qualify for the post-season this year is just one upgrade that will make the division difficult. The architect of the Topeka Roadrunners’ success Scott Langer replaces Francis Anzalone in Aberdeen. Dan Diakawa, the head coach of the Brookings Blizzard is just three seasons removed from taking the Jamestown Ironmen to the Roberston Cup round robin in 2013. All of that does not even begin to touch on the Tauros biggest rivals the Bismarck Bobcats and Austin Bruins, one of whom has won the Central Division every year since the Tauros first season in 2011-12.
Of course the Tauros have established themselves as a division power as well holding a share of first place for most of last season and finishing second each of the last two seasons. No team has a better record in the Central over the last two years than the Tauros at 72-36-12. The goal for the 2016-17 Tauros will be turning that regular season success into a Central Cup and a chance at the Robertson Cup Tournament.
Click the link below to download and print a free schedule poster. For 2016-2017 season ticket information click here. Season ticket holders save 23% on individual game ticket prices and get several other perks as well including getting to select their seat in the new Maysa Arena before it opens!