St. Cloud, MN – The Minotauros enter the final 30 days of the season having played the fewest games of any team in the NAHL at just 47. With 13 games and a possible 26 points remaining the Tauros need to either earn or have the Minnesota Wilderness miss some combination of 17 points to clinch a playoff spot. The Tauros kickoff the stretch run in St. Cloud against the woebegone Blizzard who have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Tauros have dominated the season series going 8-2-0 against the Blizzard and have outscored by 29 goals in the 10 meetings. Twice the Tauros have scored 11 goals against the Blizzard this season, and 11 Tauros have at least a point-per-game against them. Kyler Kleven and Cade Stibbe each have a team best nine goals against the Blizzard and Ville Immonen’s 12 assists lead the Tauros against St. Cloud. A.J. Ruskowski picked up the Tauros only shutout win of the season in the Tauros last game in St. Cloud three weeks ago.
The Blizzard have been reduced to the role of spoiler with just two wins since Christmas and 10 overall on the season. Their last win came January 24th against the Aberdeen Wings. St. Cloud has shown the ability to bite the Tauros however with two of their two wins coming against Minot and scoring at least three goals in every contest but Ruskowski’s shutout. Bud Winter has 11 points and Brady Bjork has 10 against the Tauros this year.
After this weekend the Tauros schedule gets very busy with nine games in three weeks all against current Central Division playoff teams. The tough schedule makes getting four points this weekend imperative against a team not in the playoff picture.