The Minotauros head to Aberdeen to take on the Central Division’s top team in the Wings. On the season the Tauros are 2-4-0 against Aberdeen but the Wings swept the last series 3-0 and 7-1 just before Christmas in Minot. Aberdeen has run away from the division holding an 18 point lead on the second place Tauros while just five points separate the Tauros from fifth place Minnesota. Fatigue may also come into play as both the Tauros and Wings send five players to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
The Tauros come in off of a split in Austin but have won eight of their last ten games. A big reason for that has been stellar play in net from the duo of Ben Garrity and Nick Grabko who have posted a .939 SV% and 1.80 GAA over the last 10 games. Another reason for the turn around has been depth scoring. The four Tauros who have shared fourth line roles this season, Cole O’Connell, Kevin Ness, Matthew Gellerman, and Joseph Harguindeguy have a combine 10 goals over that run.
The big names have produced as well for the Tauros with Wilmer Skoog has three goals and 11 helpers in the last seven games and David Raisanen has taken over the team lead in points with six goals and six assists in the last 10 games. All of this adds up to the Tauros having the fourth ranked offense in the NAHL scoring 3.43 per game.
By the numbers Aberdeen has been the best team in the NAHL this season. They posted a 19 game winning streak, have the top ranked offense at 4.33 goals per game, and the top ranked defense allowing just 2.09 per contest. They are a team that thrives on momentum and has put up lopsided scores throughout the season posting at least six goals in 12 of their 45 games.
As one would expect from a team posting well over four goals a game the Wings offense is deep, 15 players have at least 21 points on the season. Brad Belisle, (no relation to Tauros’ Captain Fritz Belisle) leads the Wings with 53 points and 25 goals. Veteran forward Joe Strada is second with 49 points including a team best 36 assists.