By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Highway 83 rivalry has never been as heated or competitive as it has been this season. The Tauros have gone 5-2-2 against their rivals from the south but are just 1-2-2 against them here at the Maysa. Minot will look to change that tonight as the teams appear to be on a collision course to meet in the first round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs next month.
On paper it would appear that the Tauros have dominated the play outscoring the Bobcats by 10 goals over the first nine meetings of the year, and shutting the Bobcats out three times. Christian Mohs (18g 31a) leads the Tauros against the Bobcats with four goals and nine assists, both team highs. Nine of Chase Springman’s (12g 18a) 30 points have come against the Bobcats on four goals and five assists. Atte Tolvanen (25-12-4, 2.01 gaa, .920 sv%) has played seven of the nine meetings going 4-1-2 stopping 183 of 200 shots.
Jared Spooner (9g 32a) has lead the Bobcats against the Tauros with two goals and five assists. With five goals against the Tauros, Bobcat leading scorer, Evan Giesler (28g 21a) has been the most dangerous threat. In net Alex Bitsakis (15-11-2, 2.62 gaa, .906 sv%) and Hunter Shepard (13-13-1, 3.30 gaa, .873 sv%) have both struggled against the Tauros but Bitsakis did earn a shutout win in the teams’ last meeting. For the Tauros staying out of the penalty box will be key. Despite the Tauros having the NAHL’s fourth ranked penalty kill eight of Bismarck’s 24 goals against the Tauros have come on the man advantage.
Tickets for tonight’s game against the Bobcats are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page; for $100 fans can get season tickets for the remaineder of the season and a replica road jersey. Season tickets come with a reserved spot in the bleachers as well as the chance to buy playoff tickets before they are available to the general public. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be $1 Coors Light in the Thru Tubing Bullpen while supplies last.