By: Ken Oda, minotuaroshockey.com
Minot, ND – With the fourth seed in the playoffs already locked up, the Minotauros spend the final two weekends of the regular season facing the team that they beat out for the final post-season spot, the Brooking Blizzard. While there is little on the line as far as the standings are concerned the final four games are still important to the Tauros, who certainly do not want to limp into the playoffs. Furthermore the Blizzard certainly can not be happy with coming out on the wrong side of the battle for fourth place so there could be some fireworks when the two teams meet at the Maysa this weekend.
For the Tauros Jake McCann has a chance to top the single season goal mark for the team if he can score twice in the final four games. Goaltender Brandon Wildung’s .920 sv% would be a new team record as well, if after the next four games he stays ahead of the .917 sv% Tyler Parks posted last season. Both Wildung and Merrick Madsen have a chance to move ahead of Parks’s 2.78 GAA on the goals against average leader board; Wildung appears safe at 2.39 GAA and Madsen at 2.77 will need to continue to play well to stay ahead of Parks. With 23 points on the season, Jon Lizotte has passed Matt Audette for the high mark on points by a Tauros defenseman.
Brookings will come in with a different look in net, Garrett Forrest and Nick Melvin will suit up for the Blizzard now that they are out of the playoff hunt. Forrest came on in relief of the now departed Connor Girard two weeks ago in a 7-0 loss to Aberdeen and allowed two goals on 14 shots. Evan Hesse leads the Blizzard in scoring with 41 points in 54 games; he has two goals and three assists in the first eight meetings with the Tauros.
Friday night at the Maysa will be billet appreciation night, and Saturday night is sponsored by the Carpet Garage. Minotauros players will be at the Carpet Garage on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to noon giving away tickets to Saturday night’s game. Tickets for both games are still available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page. Fans who lock in their 2014/15 season tickets before the playoffs will get 2014 playoff tickets for free. To get your season tickets call the Minotauros office at 701-852-0101.