Mason City, IA – The Minotauros head into the final weekend of March with a chance to see their magic number for clinching a playoff spot dwindle to just 3 points. Their opponent this weekend, the North Iowa Bulls, is one of the two teams the Tauros are trying to put out of reach. Already seven points behind the Tauros and Bruins whom are tied with 57 points for the final two Central Division playoff spots the Bulls playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. This precarious position for the Bulls is new territory for the franchise in their first North American Hockey League season, they had won four of the last eight NA3HL Championships, including last season’s Frasier Cup, before jumping up to the Tier II NAHL.
The Tauros are also used to success, looking for their ninth consecutive playoff berth the Tauros have the second longest active playoff streak in the NAHL behind the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. However just making the playoffs in the ultracompetitive Central Division is not the goal Cody Campbell and the rest of the coaching staff are focused on. Tied with Austin for third and just three points behind Aberdeen for second in the division the Tauros still have their sights set on moving up the table.
Reaching both goals for the Tauros starts this weekend in North Iowa against the reeling Bulls who are just 2-6-2 in their last 10 games. Perhaps the best news to come out of last weekend for the Tauros aside from taking three of four points from the Bobcats was some of the names that found their way on to the scoresheet to do it. Huston Karpman scored his 16th goal of the season in Friday’s win to end a six-game goalless streak. Then on Saturday Zack Simon broke his long drought scoring his 17th of the season and Nate Mann notched his seventh ending a 10-game drought. The goal by Simon was especially encouraging as he led the division with 16 goals through the first half of the season before going cold after the turn of the calendar.
In goal Zach Sandy and Lassi Lehti continue to give the Tauros a chance every night. Sandy’s .930 SV% is the best in the NAHL and Lehti’s .922 ranks fourth overall. The duo are the only goalie tandem in the league to both be in the top 15 in save percentage.
The puck drops both nights at 7:30 p.m. which means the Farmers Union Pregame Show kicks off at 7:15 on the Minotauros Network. After the weekend in North Iowa the Tauros get a weekend off while the rest of the Central jockeys for playoff position. The Tauro return to action with the first place St. Cloud Norsemen heading to Minot April 8th and 9th followed by a home-and-home set with the Bismarck Bobcats on the regular season’s final weekend that kicks off in Minot on Friday April 15th before shifting down to Bismarck the next night. Get tickets for all three remaining regular season home games through the “Tickets” tab atop this page or by clicking here