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By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The best start in Minotauros history continued this week as the Minotauros swept the Aberdeen Wings. Coming off of a 4-0-0 showing at the NAHL Showcase the Tauros opened divisional play with a dominant performance over the Wings as they improved to 6-0-0 to start the year.
On Friday night (full box) the Tauros opened the scoring early in the second when Alex Adams netted his third goal of the season on a tip from the slot (highlight). Derek Frentz doubled the Tauros lead on an odd man rush later in the period (highlight) finishing a nice pass from Adams into a wide open Aberdeen net. Luke Davison had secondary assists on both of the Tauros second period goals. Shawn Knowlton scored 1:14 into the final frame to make it interesting down the stretch but Adams hit the empty net in the final seconds (highlight) to ice the victory away. In total Lucas Murray made 22 saves in improving to 3-0-0 on the season getting the win in net for the Tauros.
Saturday night (full box) the Tauros again did not open the scoring until the second period when Kyle Craddick scored his first goal as a Tauro finishing on a 2-on-1 with Nate Pionk (highlight). Then the Tauros pulled away in the third period. Jack Murphy scored his second of the season on a tip play from the doorstep (highlight) followed by Miroslav Mucha (highlight) and Brock Montgomery (highlight) each netting their first goals in crème and cardinal to push the final to 4-0. Eric Dop made 32 saves in the shutout.
Next up for the Tauros is a trip to Aberdeen for the Wings home opener on Friday night followed by a return to the Maysa for the first meeting with the rival Bismarck Bobcats on Saturday night.
By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Blaine, MN – The Minotauros and Lone Star Brahmas promised to be one of the marquee match-ups of the 2016 NAHL Showcase, and the two clubs didn’t disappoint. The Tauros finished last season with the 6th best record in the NAHL and the Brahmas the 3rd. The two teams met in a packed arena on Sheet 4 of the Schwann Super Rink and put on a fantastic show for fans and scouts alike.
The first two periods passed without a goal but as momentum switched back and forth between the teams the stellar play in the Tauros net by Eric Dop became the early story. Coming off of the previous games season opening shutout by Lucas Murray it started to feel as if the 2016/17 Tauros would never give up a goal. However despite hitting two posts the Tauros could not solve Brahmas’ goaltender Austin Smith either and despite 40 minutes of hockey the teams entered the third period in a scoreless tie.
However with just 6 seconds remaining in the second Justin Addamo was whistled for roughing on a post-whistle scrum in the Tauros’ crease and that penalty carried over to the start of the third. The Tauros finally broke through when Alex Adams redirected Jake Dittel’s shot from the point past Smith to open the scoring at 1:05 of the third. Lone Star pushed back turning the momentum back in their favor with physical play and eventually Grayson Gavin was called for roughing after retaliating after a scrum along the wall got out of hand. Austin O’Rouke scored on the ensuing power play, ending the Tauros season opening shutout streak at 112:54 and knotting the game up at 1-1.
The rest of the third period passed just as the first two periods; without a goal, and the teams went to overtime. The teams traded chances playing three-on-three and with just under 2 minutes left in the extra session Nolan Sawchuk found Jack Murphy with space at the Lone Star blue line. Murphy’s shot was stopped but Smith left a rebound and Gavin, fresh off the bench from a change hammered it home to give the Tauros the win.
Next up for the Tauros is Day 3 of the 14th Annual NAHL Showcase and a 2:15 p.m. start against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights. The Knights are 2-4-0 on the season including a 1-1-0 record at the Showcase. After a hard fought battle with Lone Star and playing three games in as many days the Tauros have reached the portion of the Showcase in which fatigue may become a factor. However the Knights played last weekend and then traveled to the Showcase from Pennsylvania and should be just as fatigued as the Tauros.
Blaine, MN – With the preseason in the rearview mirror the Minotauros are ready to open season number six at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN. The season kick-off event presents a challenge for every team with four games in as many days against tougher competition than most of the rookies have ever faced. For the Tauros the four-day gauntlet opens with an unknown in the Kenai River Brown Bears.
At first glance the Brown Bears , who finished 17 points behind Amarillo for the worst record in the NAHL last season, would appear an easy start for the Tauros who had the sixth best record in last year’s regular season. However the Bears bring back just seven players from last year’s roster making them more of an unknown. One new name for the Bears that may be familiar to Tauro fans is Jake Tomkowiak, who played for the Bismarck Bobcats during the 2014/15 season. Other than that the Brown Bears split a preseason set with the Austin Bruins winning 3-2 in the first game then falling 3-2 in a shootout two nights later.
The Tauros meanwhile boast a veteran roster that has had a lot of success. Newly minted Captain Jake Dittel goes into his third season as a Tauro as does Chase Springman, Luke Davison, and Nate Pionk. Derek Frentz goes into his third NAHL season and second as Tauros, while Alex Adams, Zack Bross, Jack Murphy, Grayson Gavin, Tyler Jeanson, Colton Berg, and Lucas Murray all go into their second year for Minot. The veteran roster should take some pressure off of an impressive group of newcomers.
Last season the Tauros had their best Showcase performance ever going 3-1-0 and then rolling off six more wins after the Showcase for a 9 game winning streak. Every journey starts with a single step, for the 2016/17 Tauros the time is now.
Watch and Listen: Once again Ken Oda will be on the call for all 60 regular season Tauro games will be webcast at www.fasthockey.com with pay-per-view video. A free audio stream with a “Koda Cam” will be available at http://www.prostyleproduction.com/listen-live.html, and AM 1390 KRRZ will carry several of the Tauros over the air in Minot including all four games from this week’s NAHL Showcase. The Planet Pizza Pregame Show will start at 3:45 on all three of the Tauros Network outlets for the season opener against the Brown Bears. For live updates be sure to follow us on twitter @minotaurohockey.
By: Ken Oda
Minot, ND – The Minotauros have named defenseman Jake Dittel as the sixth captain in franchise history. Dittel follows Jarred Brandt, Jon Lizotte, Tim Donohue, Derek Tylka, and Ben Hughes as players to wear the “C” on their jersey. The Tauros again will go with a rotating group of assistant captains with Zach Bross, Derek Frentz, Tyler Jeanson, and Chase Springman all getting an “A” on their jerseys.
Like last season’s captain Brandt, Dittel is in his third and final season with the Tauros. He becomes the third consecutive defenseman to wear the “C” for the Tauros. Tauros Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray explained his choice of Dittel saying; “he’s been here for three years he’s a very competitive guy, he brings his work boots every day, he’s all about what the Minotauros are.”
Dittel, who has posted 8 goals and 29 assists in his first two seasons in Minot along with a +26 rating, was honored to be selected, “it’s a huge opportunity following Jon Lizotte and Jared Brandt as captain, but all of the veterans will have a leadership role.” He also said he has learned how to be a captain from watching Lizotte and Brandt, “they showed the key is to be the best leader you can be off the ice and then give everything for 60 minutes on ice.”
As for the assistant captain group Murray said; “they’re all capable of being leaders on the team and bring a lot to the table as far as our team success so, happy to give them all responsibility and we expect them to lead the way both on and off the ice.” Like Dittel, Springman is going into his third and final season as a Tauro; Bross, Frentz, and Jeanson are all in their second seasons in Minot.
The Tauros begin their sixth season Wednesday afternoon at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN, where the Tauros take on the Kenai River Brown Bears. The puck drops at 4:00 p.m. with the pregame show starting at 3:45 on all three outlets of the Minotauros Network (1390 AM KRRZ, fasthockey.com, and prostyleproduction.com).
Photo credit: Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion
Minot, ND – As the 2016/17 NAHL season draws near we are giving Tauros fans a chance to meet all of the new members of the club as well as learn a little more about the returning Tauros. We will play 20 questions with a different Tauro every day from now until the NAHL Showcase going in number order, today we catch up with NAHL veteran defenseman #27 Jeffrey Fasegha.
Fasegha comes to Minot after playing last season for the Kenai River Brown Bears. The big defenseman posted 5 goals and 8 assists with the Bears in 50 games. Fasegha did show prowess on the power play for the Bears with 3 of his goals and 5 of his assists coming while up a man. A ’97 birth year Fasegha has two years of eligibility remaining for the Tauros.
From the Coaches’ Office: Jeff is a player with a year of experience in our league. We are not overly big on the blueline, and Jeff provides some much needed size and physical play. Jeff is the type of guy that the simpler he plays, the better. He needs to be a strong defensive presence and get the puck in the forwards hands. – Marty Murray
Do you have a nickname: Segs
Older/younger siblings: Older sister (21)
Favorite NHL team/player: Calgary Flames / Jarome Iginla
What inspired you to start playing hockey: Watching Jarome Iginla playing for the Flames
Pregame routine: I usually nap, eat, shower, and then head to the rink
Ideal pregame meal: Chicken Parm
Any hockey superstitions: Im not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious
Best hockey memory: Winning Esso Minor Hockey week in Calgary
Aside from people, what will you miss most from home: The food
Do you believe in ghosts or aliens: I believe in ghosts for sure, not so much in aliens
Favorite vacation spot: Jamaica
Least favorite word: Hate
Favorite candy bar: Crunchie
Favorite pizza topping: Pepperoni
What song would you sing for Karaoke: Don’t Matter – Akon
Favorite cartoon as a kid: Spongebob Squarepants
Do you have a hidden talent: I play the guitar
What’s your dream car: Mercedes Benz Maybach
If you could have one superpower what would it be: Time travel
If you had to go on a reality show which one would you choose: Amazing Race
Minot, ND – As the 2016/17 NAHL season draws near we are giving Tauros fans a chance to meet all of the new members of the club as well as learn a little more about the returning Tauros. We will play 20 questions with a different Tauro every day from now until the NAHL Showcase going in number order, today we catch up with veteran defenseman #26 Luke Davison.
Davison goes into his final year of junior looking to bounce back from a season ending injury. Before going on injured reserve in late January Davison posted a goal and 6 assists through 37 games in his second season in Minot. For his career Davison is +16 in 85 regular season games as a Tauro and +2 in 8 playoff games.
From the Coaches’ Office: Luke is coming off season ending surgery and has looked strong in camp thus far. It’s natural to be a little tentative coming off surgery, but after getting past that stage, Luke looks comfortable back on the ice. He has a lot of upside whether it be moving the puck or playing with some physicality. The biggest thing for him with this being his third year of junior hockey, will be keeping it simple and letting the puck do the work. I’m hopeful he can come back stronger than ever post surgery. – Marty Murray
Do you have a nickname: Davy
Older/younger siblings: Anna, Ellen, Nick, Tim – all older
Favorite NHL team/player: Ottawa Senators/ Duncan Keith
What inspired you to start playing hockey: My dad built a rink in my backyard for my brothers and I.
Pregame routine: Nap, eat, get to rink and change into undergear, tape stick, stetch.
Ideal pregame meal: Shrimp Alfredo
Any hockey superstitions: everything on the left goes on first when getting dressed
Best hockey memory: Winning the WI high school state championship
Aside from people, what will you miss most from home: Being able to golf a couple times a week
Do you believe in ghosts or aliens: Ghosts
Favorite vacation spot: Minoqua Wisconsin
Least favorite word: Moist
Favorite candy bar: Tie between Snickers and Butterfingers
Favorite pizza topping: Pepperoni
What song would you sing for Karaoke: Juke Box Hero by Foreigner
Favorite cartoon as a kid: None, was always on the rink, no time for TV
Do you have a hidden talent: Karaoke
What’s your dream car: Ford Raptor
If you could have one superpower what would it be: Being able to read people’s minds
If you had to go on a reality show which one would you choose: The Bachelor
By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros have gone 2-1-0 in the preseason after defeating the Estevan Bruins on Saturday night by a score of 3-0 and splitting a pair of games with the Bismarck Bobcats last week. The Tauros have two remaining scrimmages before the regular season begins scheduled for this weekend with the Fargo Force. Both scrimmages will be practices, with two run-time halves instead of the traditional three stop-time periods and will feature set special teams situations as opposed to waiting for penalties to be called as part of the play.
The first of the two practices will now take place at 2:30 p.m. in Fargo on Friday, September 16th. Then on Saturday, the teams come to Minot for a 7:30 p.m. start which, thanks to the hard work of the Minot Park District staff getting the ice in, will now take place on the Eck Rink. While the scrimmage was originally planned to be for season ticket holders only, now that Saturday’s practice with the Force has been moved to the middle rink and additional seating is available the event will be open to the public. Season ticket holders will get in for free, and be able to use their reserved spot from last season. Admission for non-season ticket holders will be $5 for anyone over the age of five. Tickets for the practice session can be purchased here.