Minot, ND – The Minotauros and Bismarck Bobcats meet for the 121 time in the regular season tonight with the Tauros hosting the Bobcats on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena (tickets). The teams have split the first two meetings of the season with each winning on their home ice the first weekend of October. Since that weekend split the teams have gone in different directions with the Tauros going 8-6-0 while the Bobcats have managed just a 4-7-1 record.
The Tauros recent success starts in goal where Zach Sandy leads all active NAHL goaltenders with a .932 SV% on the season. In Sandy’s eight wins this season he has posted a 1.98 GAA and .946 SV%, in his seven other appearances he has posted a 2.78 GAA and .909 SV%. The Tauros are also looking for a return to form from Carter Clafton, who posted strong numbers in his first four starts this season going 2-1-1 with a .918 SV% and 2.23 GAA before struggling in his last three appearances.
On offense the Tauros are still led by Huston Karpman and Zack Simon who each remain better than a point-per-game producers. Karpman already has four goals and an assist on the season against the Cats, Simon added a goal and two helpers in the first weekend set. Aside from the forward group the Tauros are also getting scoring from the defensemen. The Tauros blue liners have 10 goals already on the season which is the same number they scored as a group all of last season. Captain Cole Mickel leads the way with three.
The Bobcats meanwhile have struggled this year sitting firmly in last place in the division with a 5-14-1 record. The Cats defense has struggled ranking 28th in the league allowing 4.35 goals-per-game the Cats are getting just a combined .873 SV% from their goaltenders. Injuries account for some of their early struggles with several players missing games and veteran Ryan Taylor and Brandon Reller both still on the shelf the Cats have never truly been full strength.
The game kicks off a busy stretch for both teams as both will play three games in four nights, taking Thanksgiving off and then playing their typical weekend sets. The Tauros will head to Aberdeen to take on the Wings while the Cats will host the St. Cloud Norsemen.
Wednesday is Pack the Pepsi Night sponsored by Northern Bottling! For one night only, every time the Tauros score an Aspire Credit Union Check-In-To-Win winner will be drawn to win a $100 gift card from Aspire Credit Union! Also Wednesday is the final game for the Circle Sanitation Fill-the-Bin Winter Gear drive! Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used winter weather item for those in need in our community.
Wednesday is also The Sports Shaq Tauros Trading Card giveaway game for the month of November with cards for Blake Arneson, Owen Hanson, Colby Joseph, Huston Karpman, and Zach Sandy, being given out to the first 500 fans. Get your cards signed by the players after the game as it is also our November Skate with the Tauros!