Weekend Preview 1-5-2023

Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros closed 2022 out with a bang and hope to keep the momentum rolling into 2023 and the second half of the season.  After last week’s three game sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats the Tauros sitting in third place in the Central Division heading into this weekend’s three game set with the fifth place St. Cloud Norsemen.  The Norsemen meanwhile come in having been swept in Aberdeen last weekend though they did salvage a point with a shootout loss on Friday.

Overall on the season the Tauros are 3-2-0 against the Norsemen.  This season is shaping up to perhaps be the the most competitive between the two clubs in the Tauros 12 seasons.  Overall the Tauros have dominated the Norsemen/Blizzard to the tune of a 72-40-8 record.  However, while the Tauros have dominated the overall head-to-head matchup the seasons the Norsemen have twice taken 10 of the 12 annual meetings from the Tauros first in the Tuaros’ inaugural season and again last year.  Conversely the Tauros have two 10 win seasons, a nine win season, and an eight win season against St. Cloud.

The Norsemen offense has struggled of late with just 22 goals over their last 10 games, however that does include a 13 goals against the Tauros over four games that the teams split.  Blake Perbix has been a Tauro killer with eight points this season he now has 23 career points against the Tauros.  Tomas Bolo appears to have take the net for St. Cloud as he has been the Norsemen’s goalie of record seven of their last nine contests since the Tauros topped St. Cloud 5-1 on November 18th.

At first glance it would appear that the Tauros turn around out of the break was led by the top line of Hunter Longhi, Chase LaPinta, and John Emmons who had seven goals and 12 total points last weekend.  However the group of Trevor Stachowiak, Justin Dauphinais, and Bryce Howard, posted 13 points.  Add in goals from Colby Joseph and newly acquired Cam Boche and suddenly the Tauros have scoring depth throughout the lineup.  In related news the Tauros posted 15 goals in three games against Bismarck last weekend after posting just 16 in the six games prior.

The Tauros do not play a road game in January starting this weekend with three against the fifth place Norsemen.  Then the challenges increase in difficulty with the second place Aberdeen Wings coming to Minot next weekend and then the first place Austin Bruins making the trip two weeks after that.  Tickets for all three home series are available now through the “Tickets” Tab atop this page or by visiting tickets.minotauroshockey.com.