Minot, ND – The Minotauros head into their final full home weekend series of the month looking to stay ahead of the opponent in the standings for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend the Aberdeen Wings came to Minot looking to slip past the Tauros in the standings only to be sent home still one point behind the men from Minot after a split. This weekend the Tauros host the St. Cloud Norsemen who are also one point back in the standings, though this time the Tauros hope to put some distance between themselves and the invaders.
The last time these clubs met the Tauros went to St. Cloud and earned a split on Halloween weekend. As has become a bit of a trend for the Cream and Cardinal they dropped Friday’s contest only to bounce back and win the second game of the series the next night. For the Tauros to have success against the Norsemen someone new will have to step up as Jaksen Panzer, who led the Tauros that weekend with two goals and an assist against St. Cloud, has returned to Minnesota High School for the next several months. Aside from Panzer, Trevor Stachowiak posted goals in both contests against St. Cloud and Dean Schwenninger had three helpers in the Granite City. Stachowiak was held off the score sheet last weekend against Aberdeen but had had points in six consecutive contests heading into that series.
Tauros points leader Huston Karpman was held relatively quiet with just two assists in St. Cloud two weeks ago but he has 23 points in 17 games thus far on the season. Zack Simon continues to produce leading the Tauros with 10 goals on the season and has eight tucks plus three assists in the last eight games. Newcomer Connor McGrath made a strong first impression last Saturday setting up Simon on the power play in the second period before scoring the game tying goal just 1:56 into the third period.
In goal Zack Sandy had his four game winning streak snapped with last Thursday’s loss to Aberdeen but rebounded with his fifth win of the season on Saturday. Sandy has played well in his first junior season posting a 5-5-0 record along with a respectable 2.80 GAA and .919 SV%.
As for the opposition this weekend the Tauros will need to find a way to slow down Brandon Lajoie and Nik Hong. The duo combined for five goals, Hong assisted on three of Lajoie’s four markers while Lajoie assisted on Hong’s goal in the head-to-head matchup two weeks ago. In that series the Tauros did well to keep the Norsemen’s leading scorer Ryan O’Niell from netting any of his own, however he did set up three of St. Cloud’s 10 goals on the weekend.
Promotions and Tickets
This weekend sees the Circle Sanitation Fill the Bin Coat Drive continue at the Tauros games. We ask fans to bring new or gently used winter weather items to go to those in need in the Minot community. Additionally, while Saturday is the last Tauros Saturday home game of November, Skate with the Tauros will be pushed back to Wednedsay, November 24th when the Tauros host the Bismarck Bobcats as part of the Tauros “Thanksgiving to the Fans” night, there are more details to come on that soon so stay tuned to GoTauros.com or the Tauros Hockey Mobile App. Tickets for both games are available here, or through the “Tickets” tab atop this page.