Busy Week begins Tonight
by Ken Oda
Bismarck, ND - The Minotauros kick off a set of three games in four nights tonight in the state capital against the rival Bismarck Bobcats. The Tauros took three of a possible four points so far from the Cats this year with a win and shootout loss to the Bobcats on the season's opening weekend in Minot last month. Since then both teams completed their October schedules, the Tauros going 4-0-2 and the Bobcats 2-5-0 only to be sidelined for long stretches early this month due to Covid. The Tauros restarted last weekend after a 27 day layoff and suffered a sweep at the hands of the Aberdeen Wings; the Bobcats will be playing their first game tonight in 26 days.
Prior to the Covid break and last weekend's speedbump the Tauros had been flying high. Keenan Rancier (4-2-1, 2.52 GAA, .940 SV%) was named the October NAHL Goaltender of the Month and Joseph Harguindeguy (5g 4a) was the NAHL Forward of the Month. Harguindguy still leads the team in scoring and Rancier's .940 SV% is still tops in the NAHL among goalies with at least five games played.
The Bobcats will feature some familiar faces for Tauros fans with second-year Bobcat Lars Rodne and fourth year Bobcat George Grannis tied atop the team leader board with five points apiece. In goal Tommy Aitken (1-2-0, 3.59 GAA, .891 SV%) and Noah Altman (1-3-0, 3.75 GAA, .871 SV%) have split time.
The head-to-head series has been low scoring thus far with the Tauros winning the season opener 1-0 and dropping the second game 3-2 in a shootout. That said Kaiden Scott (3g 2a) and Harguindeguy lead all scorers in the series with two points each; Scott's on a goal and an assist, Harguindeguy's on two helpers.
The Tauros first road game of the season tonight will be a "homecoming" of sorts for a handful of Tauros. Carter Korpi (2g 5a) and Blaine Warnert (0g 0a) both spent time as Bobcats in past seasons while Christian Kadolph (2g 0a) and Carter Clafton (0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 SV%) spent time there this preseason.
After tonight's game the series shifts back to Minot on Friday night. Due to Covid restrictions there are a very limited number of tickets available at the time of publishing for this game (click to buy). Saturday the teams will return to Bismarck to finish the stretch of three games in four nights.
Fans who can not attend the games can watch them live with pay-per-view video on HockeyTV, or listen to free audio only streams on the Minotauros Facebook, website, or through the Mixlr app. There will also be live updates on the team's other social channels: Twitter and Instagram.
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North American Hockey League Stories from November 25, 2020
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