By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros and Bismarck Bobcats have pulled away from the rest of the Central Division over the last three months. They have not however been able to put much space between themselves. With just three weeks left in the regular season the two will meet for the twelfth and final time, the winner emerging with a lead in the division. The Bobcats come in having played two fewer games than the Tauros, but they will make those up Friday and Saturday as the Tauros will be off while the Bobcats battle the Brookings Blizzard over Easter weekend.
Since the entering December 11-11-0 the Bobcats have been on a rampage going 22-6-3. Four of those six losses however have come at the hands of the Minotauros who have gone 16-3-2 since last losing to the Bobcats on January 8th. Jared Pike (19g 18a) leads the Bobcats against the Tauros with nine goals and four assists against the Tauros. Willie Brown’s (19g 19a) six goals are second best against the Tauros, no other Bobcat has more than three. In goal Hunter Shepard (30-10-2) has posted a 4-5-0 record against the Tauros with a 2.73 GAA and .899 SV%.
For the Tauros keeping the game even strength will be key. The Tauros have outscored the Bobcats 22-21 when playing five on five, but have been outscored overall 38-32 on the season set. Derek Frentz leads Tauros scorers with ten points (4g 6a) against the Bobcats. Christian Mohs (15g 28a) also has four goals against the Cats to go with five helpers; and Tyler Jeanson’s (9g 21a) five goals against Bismarck lead the team. Gunner Rivers (15-9-3) has gone 2-0-0 against the Bobcats with a 1.50 GAA and .940 SV%.
A win for the Tauros tonight not only moves them into first place but would clinch at least a top two finish meaning the first round of the playoffs would start in Minot. For a closer look at tongiht's game watch Tauros Weekly on our home page. Tickets for tonight’s game or next weekend’s final regular season home games against Austin are available by clicking the “Tickets” tab atop this page.