by Ken Oda
Cloquet, MN - The Minotauros return to the Land of 10,000 Lakes just four days after splitting with St. Cloud last weekend, in addition to the travel the Tauros took a 3-0 victory over the Aberdeen Wings at home on Tuesday night keeping them busy pretty much non-stop over the last week. Rest will remain in short supply as the Tauros play three games in Minnesota starting tonight against the Minnesota Wilderness. The series will continue Saturday night in Cloquet before the Tauros bus down to St. Cloud for a chance to avenge last Saturday's loss to the Norsemen on Sunday.
The Tauros have gone 7-3-0 in their last 10 games with wins over Aberdeen, Bismarck, Austin, and St. Cloud. The key of late for the Tauros has been depth on offense. The Blaine Warnert, Jack Westlund, and Damon Zimmer line has 11 goals in the last 10 games. While the Jay Buchholz, Cade Stibbe, and Tyler Kostelecky line has posted 10 and the line of Ethan Schmunk, Brett Roloson, and Logan Anderson has nine. Aside from depth offense the Tauros are getting depth goaltending. Carter Clafton has wins in his last three starts including Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Wings giving the Tauros a chance to rest Keenan Rancier who took the lion's share of the starts for most of the season.
The Wilderness enter the weekend set having beat the Bismarck Bobcats last night. The Tauros will need to slow down Jacob Herter who despite not scoring a goal of his own against the Tauros has driven the Wilderness offense with seven assists through the six contests. Defenseman Grant Doctor continues to lead the Wilderness by a wide margin with 29 points on the season, no other member of the Wilderness has more than 17 points as a member of Minnesota. In goal Jacob Zacharewicz and UND commit Kaleb Johnson have split time both posting strong numbers for a combined .918 SV%.
The Tauros are 3-2-1 this season against the Wilderness who are trying to chase the Tauros down for playoff position. The Tauros sit eight points ahead of the Wilderness for third place in the Central. The Tauros are also eight points back of the Bobcats looking to catch them for home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
Friday's game starts at 7:15 and Saturday's at 7:35. The Farmer's Union Insurance Pregame Show will kick off 15 minutes before puck drop both nights on all four outlets of the Minotauros Network: HockeyTV, Mixlr, Facebook Live, and gotauros.com/listenlive. On Saturday night the Minotauros Booster Club will be hosting their second "pot luck" Road Watch Party of the season at the Sleep Inn & Suites.
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