Blaine, MN – With the preseason in the rearview mirror the Minotauros are ready to open season number six at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN. The season kick-off event presents a challenge for every team with four games in as many days against tougher competition than most of the rookies have ever faced. For the Tauros the four-day gauntlet opens with an unknown in the Kenai River Brown Bears.
At first glance the Brown Bears , who finished 17 points behind Amarillo for the worst record in the NAHL last season, would appear an easy start for the Tauros who had the sixth best record in last year’s regular season. However the Bears bring back just seven players from last year’s roster making them more of an unknown. One new name for the Bears that may be familiar to Tauro fans is Jake Tomkowiak, who played for the Bismarck Bobcats during the 2014/15 season. Other than that the Brown Bears split a preseason set with the Austin Bruins winning 3-2 in the first game then falling 3-2 in a shootout two nights later.
The Tauros meanwhile boast a veteran roster that has had a lot of success. Newly minted Captain Jake Dittel goes into his third season as a Tauro as does Chase Springman, Luke Davison, and Nate Pionk. Derek Frentz goes into his third NAHL season and second as Tauros, while Alex Adams, Zack Bross, Jack Murphy, Grayson Gavin, Tyler Jeanson, Colton Berg, and Lucas Murray all go into their second year for Minot. The veteran roster should take some pressure off of an impressive group of newcomers.
Last season the Tauros had their best Showcase performance ever going 3-1-0 and then rolling off six more wins after the Showcase for a 9 game winning streak. Every journey starts with a single step, for the 2016/17 Tauros the time is now.
Watch and Listen: Once again Ken Oda will be on the call for all 60 regular season Tauro games will be webcast at www.fasthockey.com with pay-per-view video. A free audio stream with a “Koda Cam” will be available at http://www.prostyleproduction.com/listen-live.html, and AM 1390 KRRZ will carry several of the Tauros over the air in Minot including all four games from this week’s NAHL Showcase. The Planet Pizza Pregame Show will start at 3:45 on all three of the Tauros Network outlets for the season opener against the Brown Bears. For live updates be sure to follow us on twitter @minotaurohockey.