Looking for a Hero
by Ken Oda
The Tauros come into the weekend having snapped their season long four game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Wilderness to remain tied with the Bismarck Bobcats for fourth place in the Central Division. The Bruins also come in slumping a bit having gone just 2-4-1 since the end of the Christmas break. The last time these teams met the Tauros were in first place in the Central, but the Bruins held the Tauros to just one point in the weekend sweep and started the Tauros fall down the standings.
The Tauros offense has bounced back with 25 goals in seven games since the Christmas break compared to just 23 in the 10 games before. The Tauros Keenan Lund drove the offense as the Tauros in the win over the Wilderness getting a point on all six goals, scoring three himself and setting up the others. Defenseman Connor McGinnis has five assists and a +7 rating since the break. Fritz Belisle has two goals and three assists along with a +5 rating since the break and the same can be said for Vince Marino.
The good news is Tauros defense has improved slightly after allowing 41 goals in the 10 games before the brake, the bad news is that they still allowed 26 in the last seven for an average of 3.71. The Tauros have cut their shots against per game from 30.3 to 27.1 over those time frames but have seen just a .868 save percentage from their goaltenders since the holiday.
Dante Sheriff leads the Bruins with 41 points, eight of which have come against the Tauros on four goals and four assists. Overall the Bruins offense ranks 10th in the league scoring 3.03 goals per game. Andrew Willis is the only other Bruin with double digit goals scoring 11 goals and adding 15 assists.
Defense has been the key to the Bruins' success. Austin allows a league best 25.20 shots against per game, over a half a shot better than anyone else, and five full shots better than the next Central Division team in Aberdeen (30.26 shots against per game). The result has been a 4th best goals against average, allowing just 2.31 goals against per game. Goaltender Kyle McClellan has posted the second ranked GAA at 1.86.
Saturday is Superhero night at the Maysa Arena, fans are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite hero. The best costumes will receive prizes from Party City.
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