by Ken Oda
Austin, MN - The Minotauros head to Austin, MN for the last time this regular season to take on the Bruins in a battle of the NAHL Central Division's top two teams. The Tauros have controlled the season series for the most part with a 6-2-0 record against the Bruins but Austin did win the last meeting in Minot just before the Christmas break.
The Tauros have outscored the Bruins 30-19 through eight meetings this season thanks in large part to holding the Bruins to just one goal in four of those contests. Seven of the Bruins' 19 goals against the Tauros have come on the power play, including two power play markers in each of their wins over Minot. The Tauros meanwhile have dominated even-strength play outscoring the Bruins 24-12 at evens.
Zack Simon leads all scorers in the series with five goals (three of which have come shorthanded) and two assists. Minot's Dean Schwenninger (4g 3a) and Trevor Stachowiak (1g 6a) along with Austin's Nick Catalano (1g 6a) all also have seven points in the series. Aside from Simon and Schwenninger no other goal scorer has more than two goals in the head-to-head.
In goal the Tauros will still be without recently committed Zach Sandy though Carter Clafton has posted a 5-1-0 record on a 2.15 GAA and .935 SV% since the start of December giving the Tauros the best goaltending duo in the division and arguably the league. The Bruins meanwhile have traded Hudson Hodges to the North Iowa Bulls leaving Klayton Knapp and Nikola Goich as their duo moving forward. Hodges had played the most games for the Bruins goaltending trio, but Knapp's .917 SV% is by far the best of the group.
Both Friday and Saturday night's games start at 7:00 which means the Farmer's Union Pregame Show will start at 6:45 on HockeyTV, Facebook Live, and the Tauros Hockey App.
• Discuss this story on the North American Hockey League message board...
North American Hockey League Stories from January 7, 2022
- Knapp's 28 Save Performance Helps Lead Bruins to 3-1 Victory - Austin Bruins
- Warriors Score Four Unanswered Goals & Top Bugs - Shreveport Mudbugs
- New Jersey Edges out Maryland in Overtime - Maryland Black Bears
- Hat Tricks Take Game One against Northeast - Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks
- D'Orazio Makes 42 Saves in 4-3 Shootout Win over Kenai River - Janesville Jets
- Jr. Blues Sign Thompson to Tender for 2022-23 - Springfield Jr. Blues
- Titans Open Second Half with Critical Two-Game Series in Maryland - New Jersey Titans
- Hat Tricks Open up Three-Game Series against Northeast - Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks
- Weekend Preview - Minot Minotauros
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.