by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros and the Brooking Blizzard both have 32 points on the season, but appear to be heading in opposite directions. Since the start of November the Tauros have been one of the hottest teams in the NAHL going 12-3-1. The Blizzard on the other hand have gone 5-8-2 over that same span but have won only twice since November 10th. That said the Tauros have yet to beat the Blizzard in regulation, dropping the first two meetings in Brookings before picking up a shootout win there last Friday night.
The Blizzard are lead by Thomas Williams who has 30 points (18g 12a) in 28 games played. Williams has done his fair share of damage to the Tauros as well with three goals and an assist in the three meetings so far this season. Justin Moody and Eric Brenk round out the top three on the Blizzard in scoring with 26 and 21 points respectively. Drew Weigman has received the lion’s share of the work in net and has a .920 SV% to go with a 2.62 GAA. In his two appearances against the Tauros he has allowed three goals on 41 shots.
Minotauro forward Jake O’Borsky broke out of his mini-slump in a big way last weekend. After being held off the scoresheet the previous weekend in Bismarck, O’Borsky posted an assist in Coulee against the Chill on Thursday. Then with the Tauros trailing 2-0 going into the third period last Friday in Brookings he scored just 0:23 into the period to cut the lead in half. Later in the period he scored his second of the game tying the game at three a side; the Tauros eventually won in the shootout.
Mason Morelli also has been on fire of late for the Tauros with five points in the last five games including four goals. The Tauros will also get a boost from Denis Dalidovich’s return from France where he was representing Belarus in IIHF U20 play. Dalidovich had a goal and an assist in five games while representing his country for the second year in a row. In net Tyler Parks continues to get attention from around the league. Parks has a .920 SV%, including a .948 SV% over his last 8 games.
Player to Watch: Collin Abitz; has appeared in two games against Brookings this season for the Tauros, November 11th and December 21st. He also has two goals on the season, they came on November 11th and December 21st. With two more games against the Blizzard this weekend Abitz may double his goal total on the season.
Tickets/Promotions: Tickets for both games are still available by clicking the “tickets” tab atop this page, avoid the line and buy/print your tickets at home. Saturday night is military appreciation night. The first fans to show military ID will receive a free ticket. Also the Tauros will be wearing special camouflage jerseys which will be auctioned off after the games. Puck drop for both games is at 7:35.