By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Aberdeen, SD – For the second weekend in a row the Minotauros take to the road to take on the NAHL Central Division’s fifth ranked team. Last weekend the Tauros swept the Minnesota Magicians sending them into the division basement; now the Tauros head to Aberdeen to take on the Wings who moved ahead of the Magicians by way of defeating Brookings and getting a point from an overtime loss to Bismarck.
The Wings come in with a 4-3-3 record over their last 10 games. The improved results over the last 10 games coincides with the return of future University of North Dakota goaltender Peter Thome (9-12-5) who has posted a .928 SV% and 2.47 GAA this season. The Wings top three scorers on the season have lead them against the Tauros as well. Tucker DeYoung (10g 16a) has five assists against the Tauros, while Carter Roo (5g 15a) and Ryan Cook (5g 13a) each have two goals and three helpers.
The Tauros have nine players with at least 20 points this season, compared to the Wings two; however outside of a 7-1 victory in December the Tauros have posted just 12 goals in five games against the Wings. Zack Bross (8g 13a) leads the Tauros against Aberdeen with three goals and four assists. Derek Frentz (10g 12a) has four goals and five total points against the Wings this year and Christian Mohs (11g 21a) has a goal and five assists. Colton Berg (1g 1a) carries a +5 rating against the Wings which is second on the team behind James LaDouce’s (5g 17a) +7. New goaltender Gunner Rivers (7-8-1) should make his debut for the Tauros in at least one of this weekends games after being acquired from the Odessa Jackalopes.
This weekend in Aberdeen marks the start of four in a row against the Wings who come to Minot next weekend for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday night at the Maysa. This could be a make or break stretch for the Wings who sit five points behind Brookings for the final playoff spot and 10 points behind the Tauros and Austin Bruins. A strong showing by the Tauros could all but clinch a playoff spot as an 18 point lead with 17 games to play would be almost impossible for Aberdeen to overcome.