Aberdeen, SD – The Minotauros and Aberdeen Wings will meet for the fourth consecutive postseason in the Central Division Semifinal starting tonight in Aberdeen. The Tauros will enter the series as heavy underdogs after last weekend saw the Wings outscore the Tauros 14-2 in a weekend sweep at the Odde Ice Center; however, each time that the Tauros and Wings have met in the first round the lower seed has won.
The Tauros finished the regular season 23-25-8 and tied with the Minnesota Wilderness with 54 points; the Wilderness held the first tie-breaker of overall wins due to their 4-3 record in shootouts compared to the Tauros 0-2 record in the skills competition. The Tauros offense ranked 19th with 2.68 goals-per-game and the defense ranked 21st allowing 3.55. Cade Stibbe led the Tauros with 32 points on the season with 13 goals and 19 assists. Tyler Kostelecky finished second in the team scoring race just a point behind Stibbe, he also led the Tauros against Aberdeen with two goals and three assists. Tauro Captain Jack Westlund was third on the team with 29 points on 11 goals and 18 helpers. In goal Keenan Rancier took the lion’s share of the starts setting a franchise record with 1,477 saves, 333 more than Tyler Parks’ 1,144 saves in 2012-13.
The Wings are technically the defending Robertson Cup champions as they won the last Robby in 2019 but not a single player remains from the 2019 championship team. Aberdeen’s 2020-21 team meanwhile comes in having rewritten the NAHL record books, their 51-4-1 record and 103 points are both new league records. Former Tauro Jake Sibell set an NAHL wins record in goal with 43 and tied the league shutout record with 11. Payton Matsui led the Wings with 65 points on the season on 27 goals and 38 assists. Clayton Cosentino set a new franchise record with 48 assists in finishing second on the Wings with 60 points.
On it’s face the head-to-head match-up between the Tauros and Wings does not look good for the Tauros. The Wings won 10 of the 12 meetings in the regular season and outscored the Tauros 58-17 over the 12 meetings. However the Tauros 1.42 goals-per-game against the Wings is actually better than the rest of the league which managed just 1.32 goals-per-game against Aberdeen; and the Tauros were the only team to record two wins against Aberdeen this season.
Games One and Two of the series are in Aberdeen this Friday and Saturday and then the series shifts to Minot on Thursday for Game Three and potentially Game Four on Friday. If needed Game Five will take place in Aberdeen on Sunday May 30th. Tickets for the Game Three in Minot are available now through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here. Every game of the Minotauros Robertson Cup Playoff run will be available on the Minotauros Network: HockeyTV.com, Mixlr, Facebook, and GoTauros.com.