by Ken Oda
For the second spring in a row the Minotauros bring the Central Cup Finals to the Maysa Arena with a chance to close the series out without having to play a Game Five on the road. Last season the Tauros closed out the Austin Bruins in Minot after taking the first two games of the series in Austin; this season a split in Aberdeen means that while the Tauros stole home ice advantage they must win both home games to eliminate the Wings.
The Tauros won their first four playoff games this spring starting with a three-game sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats followed by a Game One win over the Aberdeen Wings. They saw that streak snapped by the Wings in Game Two last Saturday, a 3-1 loss in Aberdeen that evened the series. Last year the Tauros managed a split of the first two games in Aberdeen and went on to win the series in five games.
This year the Tauros playoff offense has mirrored the depth based attack of the regular season with 15 players already posting multiple points and 19 players with at least one. That said the Tauros top line of David Raisanen, Didrik Henbrant, and Wilmer Skoog have eight of the Tauros 18 goals. In goal Nicholas Grabko has been stellar this post season raising his game and posting a .927 SV% and 2.39 GAA compared to a 2.68 GAA and .913 SV%.
The Wings had a big week as the NAHL announced it's annual awards. Forward Brad Belisle and goaltender Matt Vernon both made the All-NAHL 1st Team, Vernon was also named the NAHL Goaltender of the Year. Belisle and John Sladic lead the Wings with six points each in the playoffs. Sladic has three goals already in this series. Vernon meanwhile has a .921 SV% this series and 2.42 GAA this series.
Tickets for Game Three and Game Four are available through the "Tickets" tab atop this page or. Regardless of the outcome of both games these will be the final Tauros home games of the season. If needed Game Five of this series will be played in Aberdeen on Monday, should the Tauros advance the Robertson Cup Semifinals and Finals will be played in Fogerty Arena starting May 10th with the Championship Game on May 14th.
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