Preview 4-22-21

Minot, ND – The Minotauros host the Aberdeen Wings on Thursday prior to a rare weekend off. The Tauros are just four wins (or four St. Cloud losses) away from clinching a Robertson Cup playoff spot, which means with help from Minnesota and Austin this weekend the Tauros could punch their playoff ticket even while sitting idle.  The Wings of course have clinched the division and are nearing clinching the number one overall seed with just four wins of their own.

The Tauros have split their last four games with the Wings including winning the most recent match-up back on April 6th on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena.  Increased offense has been the key to the Tauros recent success which has seen the Tauros go 9-5-1 over their last 15 games including the wins over all five Central Division rivals.  The Tauros have scored 3.33 goals per game over that stretch bringing their season average up from 2.54 to 2.79.  Cole Mickel’s growth on the ice has helped spur the Tauros offense, posting 10 points on a goal and nine assists over the last 15 games Mickel has given the Tauros significantly more punch from the back end.  Up front Blaine Warnert has posted nine goals over the last 15 contests, Cade Stibbe has added six, and Jack Westlund and Logan Anderson have each chipped in five giving Shane Wagner three lines of offense to choose from. That offense got another boost last weekend with the return of Kyle Kukkonen, who was leading the Tauros in scoring when he returned to high school in December, had two goals against the Bruins.

The Aberdeen Wings meanwhile continue to be on pace for a record setting season.  Despite two losses already ensuring April will be their worst month of the calendar this year they continue to dominate opponents.  They score the most goals per game in the league at 4.26, while holding opponents to the fewest shots per game (25.47) and fewest goals per game (1.36).  Thomas Manty has been the main weapon for the Wings against the Tauros with 15 points on the year.  Of course at the other end of the ice the Tauros will most likely need to once again solve a former Tauro in Jake Sibell who has posted a 1.50 GAA and .938 SV% against his former club this year.

Tickets for Thursday night’s game are available by clicking here or through the “Tickets” tab atop this page.  The doors open at 6:00 p.m. for a 7:05 puck drop.