St. Cloud, MN – The Minotauros do not have to rewind the tape very far to find a road map for the next two weekends before the NAHL Christmas break. In a bit of a scheduling quirk the Tauros find themselves in a Groundhog’s Day loop repeating a three weekend cycle.
The final three weekends of November saw the Tauros go to Austin, go to St. Cloud, and then play a home-and-home set with Bismarck. December opens the same way and so far the results have been the same. The Tauros were swept in both trips to Austin and now hope to respond the same way they did last month, by sweeping the Norsemen in St. Cloud.
The defending Central champions started the season strong going 4-1-1 in their first six games but have gone just 5-11-1 since including just one win in their last five contests. Offense has been the main problem for the Norsemen over the recent stretch with just six goals, three of which game in a 4-3 loss to the Tauros on November 19th. Kade Peterson and Blake Perbix with 18 points apiece lead the Norsemen attack but have combined for just one assist since the last time the Tauros were at the MAC.
The Tauros will look to continue to stifle the Norsemen offense with a new look in net. With Lawton Zacher still not cleared to return the Tauros have acquired Noah Rupprecht from the Odessa Jackalopes. Rupprecht started the season in the USHL with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, last season for Odessa he posted a 2.93 GAA and .916 SV% which ranked 13th in the NAHL among goalies with at least 20 games. While he struggled overall for the Lumberjacks he did stop 55 of 60 shots in his final two starts before being released.
Like the Norsemen the Tauros offense has also struggled of late, though much of that may be due to playing six games against Austin. The Tauros have 12 goals in six games against the Bruins but average 3.32 goals per game when playing anyone else. Hunter Longhi continues to pace the offense with 26 points in 25 games played.
As always fans will be able to tune into the games on the Minotauros Network. The game can be watched on HockeyTV or fans can listen to free audio broadcasts on the Tauros Facebook page, Mixlr, gotauros.com, or in the Tauros Hockey App. The Farmers Union Pregame show will start at 6:45 p.m., 15 minutes before puck drop.