St. Cloud, MN – The Minotauros hit the road for Minnesota to take on the St. Cloud Norsemen this weekend. The Tauros have already played five more games than the Norsemen on the season but sit just one point ahead of St. Cloud in the standings. Last season the Tauros went 5-4-3 against the Norsemen but have historically dominated them dating back to their time as the Brookings Blizzard. In total the Tauros at 67-28-8 against the Alexandria/Brookings/St. Cloud Blizzard/Norsemen.
The Tauros offense has featured a two line attack with the David Nesburg, Huston Karpman, Jaksen Panzer line and Dean Schwenninger, Zack Simon, and Trevor Stachowiak line taking turns driving the offensive attack. On the back end, Christian “Bubba” Kadolph has quietly taken over the point lead for defensemen with six assists in 14 games. All season long the Tauros offense had generated chances, ranking fifth in the league in shots per game, however until recently they had little to show for it. However over the last three contests the Tauros have posted 14 goals to improve to the 17th ranked offense with 3.14 goals per game.
Meanwhile for the Norsemen the opposite has been true, they rank in the middle of the pack in shots (31.00 ranked 15th) but are second overall in goals scoring 3.89 per game. Ryan O’Neill is the active leader in career points against the Tauros with 19 (8g, 11a) in his career. With 14 points in just nine games already on the season he also leads the Norsemen this year. With a strong showing through the 12 games scheduled between the two clubs this year O’Neill could make a run at the record held by Aberdeen Wings forwards Joey Strada and Riley Murphy who each put up 30 career points against the Tauros. Aside from O’Neill, veterans Logan Kittleson and Blake Mesenburg round out their top three in scoring. In total 15 players are back from last season’s team for the Norsemen compared to just five returning Tauros.
In goal Zack Sandy has taken the last four starts for the Tauros posting strong numbers, overall on the season he is 3-4-0 with a 2.43 GAA and .925 SV%. St. Cloud meanwhile has survived pedestrian goaltending as their three goaltenders has shared the workload to an .898 SV%, but face the third fewest shots in the league at just 24.11 per game.