by Ken Oda
Aberdeen, SD - The Minotauros head to Aberdeen, South Dakota, to take on the Wings for their first real road trip in almost a full year. The Tauros have played outside of North Dakota just once this season, a January 27th 3-1 loss in Aberdeen; every other road game the Tauros have played has been in Bismarck against the Bobcats. The last time the Tauros spent a night in a hotel was March 6th and 7th of 2020 when they swept the St. Cloud Norsemen just prior to Covid ending the NAHL 2019-20 season along with all other competitive sports.
Since then the Wings have been almost unbeatable, going 25-1-1 so far this year. Their record is reflective of how dominant they have been, with the league's top offense scoring 4.41 goals/game, and the league's best defense allowing just 1.19 goals per game including nine shutouts and seven wins by five or more goals. Payton Matsui (14g 20a) and Clayton Cosentino (7g 27a) are tied for the team lead with 34 points each on the season. In goal former Tauro Jake Sibell has carrier the load in net with 24 appearances going 22-0-1 with a 1.04 GAA and .958 SV%.
Despite the Wings dominance, it is actually the Tauros who enter the weekend with the longest winning streak in the Central Division, winning their last five starts. Over that time the Tauros have averaged 4.00 goals/game while allowing just 1.80 on average. Jack Westlund picked up NAHL Central Division Star of the Week honors for netting both game winning goals in last weekend's sweep of the Minnesota Wilderness. Westlund's 13 points are second on the team behind Kaiden Scott's 17. Like Sibell for the Wings, Keenan Rancier has owned the Minotauros net, also appearing 24 times going 13-9-2 with a .924 SV% and 2.85 GAA.
The weekend road trip kicks off three consecutive road weekends for the Tauros who will then head to Minnesota to take on the Wilderness and then St. Cloud to face the Norsemen. All three weekend's games will be on HockeyTV.com, Mixlr, Facebook, and GoTauros.com. The Tauros will then return home to the Pepsi Rink at Maysa Arena to host the Bismarck Bobcats on March 12th. Tickets for that game are available.
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North American Hockey League Stories from February 19, 2021
- Norsemen Offense Upends Bismarck in Friday Night Win ÃÂ - St. Cloud Norsemen
- Minotauros Preview - Minot Minotauros
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