Minot, ND – The Minotauros entered the weekend with a chance to make a statement against the first place Bobcats; trailing them by just one point in the standings a good showing could have seen the Tauros move into first place. After two games a statement was certainly made, unfortunately it was the Bobcats who loudly and clearly told the Tauros and the rest of the Central that their hot start is no fluke.
The Cats took both ends of the home-and-home series in dominant fashion. The Tauros were outscored on the weekend 10-3, out-shot 66-40, and in general out-classed for 120 minutes of hockey. There is little doubt that this was the Tauros worst weekend showing in years. The lowest point of which was a second period on Saturday night that saw the Cats score more goals (three) than the Tauros had shots on goal (two). The three-goal outburst helped Bismarck break a 13-game losing streak in the Maysa Arena, it was the Cats first win in Minot since October 19, 2017.
A detailed autopsy of the games will show few bright spots. For the morbidly curious, box scores (Friday, Saturday) will show you that Nik Armstrong-Kingkade added another goal to his total, putting him on pace for 43 goals and 73 points which would shatter Miroslav Mucha’s single season Tauros records of 30 goals and 55 points. Isak Dahlin had a goal and an assist on the weekend giving him four points in the last five games. Beyond that however the Tauros are left searching for positives on the weekend.
A week of practice and film study, which will undoubtedly start on Sunday will give the players time to reflect on their failed test and what is needed to improve. Talent and skill are not the issue this is still a team that started the season 8-1-3 after all. It is certainly too soon to panic after just the Tauros second and third regulation losses of the season 14 games into the schedule; however, after this weekend no one in the Tauros locker room should have any question about the challenges of life in the NAHL Central. The next test is Friday in Aberdeen.