The Minotauros kick off a six-game road swing by heading to Cloquet, MN, to take on the Minnesota to take on the Minnesota Wilderness. The already tight Central Division playoff race got even more exciting as the Tauros, Bruins, and Bobcats all added to their rosters on Wednesday’s NAHL trade deadline. The Tauros remain in third place two points behind Austin and three ahead of Minnesota; Bismarck sits in fifth three points behind the Wilderness. A good weekend for the Tauros could put some breathing room between the Tauros and missing the playoffs, a bad weekend could see the Wilderness pull back ahead of the Tauros in the race.
The Tauros offense remains among the most potent in the league scoring 3.38 goals per game. Justin Kelley has been hot of late with five goals and two assists over the last five games as has Wilmer Skoog with two goals and three helpers over the last three contests. Andrew Kangas who had a goal and an assist last weekend after returning from injury, has five points in four meetings with the Wilderness this year.
Defensively the Tauros sit in the middle of the pack, currently ranked 12th in the 24 team NAHL allowing 2.81 goals-per-game. However the Tauros have been much better of late with goaltenders Ben Garrity and Nicholas Grabko combining for a .957 SV% and 1.335 GAA over the last six games leading the Tauros to a 5-1-0 record in that span.
The Wilderness offense sits seventh in the NAHL scoring 3.24 goals-per-game, but they scored 17 goals in the first four meetings with the Tauros. Most of that damage came off the stick of Dylan Johnson who has six of his 19 goals against the Tauros. Oula Kuure was second among the Wilderness with six points against the Tauros but fortunately for Minot he is not longer with the Wilderness.
Top Prospects bound Ryan Fanti will represent the Wilderness on Team Central for the second year in a row. Fanti has a 16-11-2 record on the year and has posted a 2.38 GAA and .927 SV% on the season but the Tauros have had some success against him. While Fanti has gone 3-1-0 against the Tauros he has allowed 14 goals in the four meetings on just a .898 SV%.