Preview 5-14-21

May 14, 2021

Aberdeen, SD – The Minotauros close out the regular season in Aberdeen with playoff seeding still on the line.  The Tauros sit four points ahead of the Minnesota Wilderness for the third seed in the Central and a chance to avoid the Aberdeen Wings in the first round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs.  The Wilderness won last night in Chippewa and now host the Bismarck Bobcats on the weekend while the Tauros head to take on the Wings.

The Tauros enter the weekend with an even record, 23-23-8; and are the only team to beat the Aberdeen Wings twice this season.  Logan Anderson leads the Tauros against the Wings with two goals and two assists.  Mason Campbell and Cade Stibbe each have a goal and three helpers and Cole Mickel has four assists all to tie Anderson for the team lead with four points against Aberdeen.  Stibbe currently leads the Tauros with 32 points on the season three points ahead of Tyler Kostelecky (16g 13a) and Jack Westlund (11g 18a).  In goal Keenan Rancier has faced 295 more shots than any Tauros goaltender has in a single season, Tyler Parks’s 1248 shots faced in 2012-13 was the previous record.  Despite that he has posted a strong .913 SV% and becomes just the fourth goalie in Tauros history to post a 20-win season at 20-17-5.

The Wings meanwhile have rewritten their record book this season posting an eyepopping 49-4-1 record.  Former Tauro Jake Sibell has recorded 11 shutouts, a Wings single season record.  With 63 Payton Matsui has a chance at setting a new single season point record for the Wings, just five points behind Brad Belisle’s 68 points in 2018-19.  Captain Clayton Cosentino has already set a new record for Aberdeen with 43 assists this season passing Joey Strada’s 42 in 2018-19.  Of course the big record the Wings are after is the 50 wins and 102 points; which would both be new NAHL records.  The Wings need just one win and three points to reach those goals meaning the Tauros would need to sweep the weekend to prevent it.

Aside from preventing the Wings from reaching new NAHL records the Tauros also need to take at least one point to prevent the Wilderness from catching them in the standings.  Doing so would set up a series with the Bismarck Bobcats in the first round of the Roberston Cup Playoffs starting next week.  If the Tauros fail to earn a point in Aberdeen and the Wilderness sweep the Bobcats the Tauros will face Aberdeen in the first round.

The weekend’s games and the Tauros entire Robertson Cup Playoff run will be on, Mixlr, Facebook, and  The Farmers Union Insurance Pregame Show will start at 7:00 p.m. for 7:15 p.m. puck drops.