Minot, ND – The Minotauros come out of the Christmas break with six games in ten days, five of which are on the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena. The Busy schedule is, in part, the result of the postponement of the game from December 16th when winter weather prevented both the Bobcats and the league assigned officiating crew from traveling to Minot. That game now takes place Thursday night kicking off a set of three consecutive games against Bismarck in as many nights. The series stays in Minot on Friday night before shifting south to Bismarck on New Years Eve.
The Tauros will look to bounce back and end a season-long losing streak having dropped their last five contests heading into the Christmas break. The Tauros scored just 11 goals over that five game run. To help jump start the offense Tauros Head Coach/General Manager Cody Campbell traded Max Martin to the Wisconsin Windigo for Cam Boche (click for more on the trade). While Boche has just five goals in 29 contests this season for Wisconsin he had 11 markers last year in just 37 games for the Minnesota Magicians. Boche joins Bryce Howard who made his Tauro debut in the final game before Christmas break. The duo have a combined 136 games of NAHL experience with 25 goals and 28 assists.
In goal the Tauros will also have the recently acquired Noah Rupprecht back from a stint in the USHL along with Lawton Zacher who made his return from injury in the Tauros last game before Christmas break.
The Bobcats find themselves in familiar territory; just like last season they find themselves in last place in the ultracompetitive Central Division. Last season the Cats were 9-18-3 and eight points behind fifth place St. Cloud. The Norsemen would end up winning the division while the Bobcats would bump the Tauros who had been in first place at the turn of the calendar from the fourth and final Central playoff spot on the season’s final day. This year the Cats are 11-12-3 and just three points behind the 13-13-2 Tauros for fourth place in the Central.
The Cats will still be without Linards Lipskis who is representing his home country of Latvia in the IIHF World Junior Championships. That means the Cats will rely on Hunter Garvey who is 5-3-0 against the Tauros over his career between North Iowa and Bismarck on a 3.254 GAA and .908 SV%.
At the other end of the ice the Tauros will need to slow down a Bismarck attack has been feast or famine in their seven games heading into the break. The Cats scored six or more goals in each of their last four wins but a total of five goals in their three losses.
Along with being the rescheduled game from December 16th Thursday night is also the rescheduled SCHEELS Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used teddy bear to that game to throw on the ice when the Tauros score. Additionally, the Virtual Teddy Bear Toss will be extended through the night of December 29th. Tickets for December 16th were automatically moved over to the Thursday’s game and will work. There are limited tickets available for both Thursday and Friday’s games in Minot, they are available through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by visiting tickets.minotauroshockey.com.