Cloquet, MN – The Minotauros return to Cloquet this weekend looking to avenge a pair of losses that came in the Tauros only two road games in October. That weekend the Tauros held a 4-2 lead going into the third period on Friday night only to be out scored 9-3 over the next four periods and an overtime to fall in both games by finals of 7-6 in a shootout and 5-1 on Saturday. Tauros starting goaltender Ben Garrity was unable to play that weekend due to injury and the losses led to the Tauros dropping Sam Evola in favor of A.J. Ruskowski.
The Tauros continue to produce offensively ranked third in the league with 3.53 goals-per-game despite being ranked just 15th in shots-per-game at 29.76. Nik Armstrong-Kingkade continues to produce at a potential record pace his 10 goals and 19 points putting him on pace for 35 goals and 67 points which would pass Miroslav Mucha’s 30 goal and 55 point season as Tauro records. Jay Buchholz has come on of late with four points over the last three games to give him 14 on the season. Kyler Kleven, who remains on the NHL Central Scouting watch list posted two goals last weekend against Aberdeen.
Despite the offensive outburst against the Tauros the Wilderness rank in the middle of the pack offensively sitting 13th at 3.05 goals-per-game. Nate Horn’s 20 points (10g 10a) lead the Wilderness through 20 games, and Tyler Watkins (8g 11a) is just a point behind. A pair of defensemen, Blake Holmes (3g 13a) and Kimball Johnson (2g 13a) sit third and fourth on the team. Nick Portz (6g 5a), who had two goals and four assists against the Tauros this year, is still fifth on the team despite only playing seven games before being called up to Tri-City of the USHL.
Defensively the Wilderness sit 12th allowing 2.80 goals-per-game. The Tauros’ 3.47 ranks 22nd though improves to 3.29 which would be 17th if you remove Evola’s three games. The Wildreness rank slightly ahead of the Tauros in shots against allowing 30.95 to the Tauros 32.53 for a 16th and 20th rank respectively.
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