Win and Stay Home
by Ken Oda
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season the Tauros know little of their playoff destiny for next weekend, however they do have control over where their playoffs begin. A pair of wins over last place Brookings will ensure that the Minotauros open the playoffs next weekend at home against either the Bismarck Bobcats or the Austin Bruins. Losses to Brookings opens the door for the Tauros to begin the playoffs on the road in either Bismarck, Austin, or even Aberdeen.
While the main story this weekend will be the playoff impact of the playoff games the battle for the Tauros scoring title will carry into the final weekend as well. David Raisanen and Keenan Lund are tied atop the team chart with 49 points each. Just two points behind that duo is Wilmer Skoog with 47 on the season. All have done well against the Blizzard this season, Raisanen leads the Tauros with six goals and six assists in the 10 prior meetings with Brookings. Skoog, is tied for third on the team against the Blizzard with 10 points and Lund has posted six against Brookings.
Overall the Tauros currently rank fourth on offense posting 3.47 goals per game and should remain in that spot. The Tauros trail third ranked Johnstown by 40 goals and need to score just four goals on the weekend to remain ahead of fifth place Fairbanks whom has finished their season already. Defensively the Tauros currently rank 11th having allowed 160 goals and are unlikely to fall in that category as 12th ranked Kenai River has allowed 174 goals on the season. The Tauros could move up as far as eighth however with a good showing this weekend as Austin, Shreveport, and Bismarck are all within five goals against of the Tauros.
Brookings enters the final weekend committed to the roll of spoiler. Their two wins in the month of March were both helpful to the Tauros as they knocked off the Bruins and Bobcats. Overall it has been a season to forget for the Blizzard who will finish with the league's worst record and ranked last in goals, goals against, shots, and shots against. Despite that they have had an encouraging second half, going 8-16-3 since the turn of the new year with all but three of their players (including their top five scores) eligible to return next season there is reason for optimism in Brookings.
Tickets and Promotions
This weekend's series with the Brookings Blizzard is the final weekend to redeem flex tickets, as they are not valid for the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Avoid the lines at the box office by buying your tickets online through the "Tickets" tab atop this page. Friday night is Billet Appreciation Night and Saturday will be the final "Skate with the Tauros" night of the season.
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North American Hockey League Stories from April 5, 2019
- Dahm's Hat-Trick, McClellan's Shutout, Lift Bruins over Bobcats, 3-0 - Austin Bruins
- Black Bears Thrashed by Knights - Maryland Black Bears
- Knights Tie Franchise-High Goal Total in Rout of Maryland - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
- Tomahawks Score Three Goals in Third Period to Secure Regular Season Title in 3-2 Win - Johnstown Tomahawks
- Titans Sweep Black Bears and Prepare for Northeast Series - New Jersey Titans
- Wings Dominate 5-0 - Aberdeen Wings
- Win and Stay Home - Minot Minotauros
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