Minot, ND – The Minotauros head into their 12th home opener at the MAYSA Arena this weekend off of a 2-2-0 performance at the NAHL Showcase last week. The North Iowa Bulls will be providing the opposition in a battle of the two teams that missed the NAHL Central playoffs last season and are eager to get back into the postseason. Both teams saw immediate results in trying to fix the problems that plagued them last season, the Tauros who scored the fewest goals in the Central last year posted division best 17 at the Showcase. Meanwhile, the Bulls, who gave up the most goals in the Central last year allowed just three at the Showcase, all coming in their final game of the four game event.
In posting 17 goals in at the Showcase the Tauros sit second in the league in offense at 4.25 goals per game. Much of the offense came on the power play where the Tauros posted seven goals on 15 chances for a 46.7% conversion rate that ranks atop the entire NAHL. Even more encouraging is that the Tauros offense was precision, not volume driven. That is to say that despite having the second highest ranked offense, the Tauros rank just 15th in shots for, meaning the Tauros have been excellent at capitalizing on opportunities. Ahead of the home opener the Tauros offense got even stronger with the addition on Braden Fischer.
Experience veteran Tauros Nick O’Hanisain (3g 2a) and Colby Joseph (1g 4a) along with NAHL veteran but new Tauro Hunter Longhi (1g 4a) led the way at the Showcase with five points each. Justin Dauphinais who played junior in Canada last season added three goals and an assist as well. Defenseman Weston Knox led all Tauros rookies with a goal and three helpers.
The high flying offense for the Tauros overshadowed a quietly steady defense that ranks seventh in shots allowed at just 26.0 per game. A poor first outing at the Showcase makes the numbers look worse than they played after allowing seven goals in the games first day to Oklahoma the Tauros allowed just six the rest of the event.
For the Bulls the Showcase was a chance to show off their revamped defense. The Bulls rank just two spots behind the Tauros allowing 26.75 shots per game. Erik Chaffe had a pair of shutouts for North Iowa while Mitch Day had one. At the other end of the ice the Bulls posted 11 goals over the four games which ranks 14th in the NAHL. Cayden Casey and Justin Mexico led the way for North Iowa with two goals and two assists each.
After losing their first three home openers the Tauros have won their home opener each of the last eight seasons. With this being just the Bulls second season in North Iowa since relocating from Amarillo they have never been the Tauros opponent for a home opener. All-time the Tauros are 4-5-1 against the Bulls including 3-5-0 last season.
Tauros Home Opening Weekend is presented by Pearson Chiropractic. The first monthly Skate With the Tauros will be after Saturday’s game. Doors open both nights at 6:30 p.m. for 7:35 p.m. puck drops. Tickets for both games are available here, or through the “Tickets” tab atop this page.