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WEEKEND PREVIEW: ‘Tauro Test

The Minot Minotauros became the first team in the Central Division to clinch a playoff spot last week and now have their sights set on the #1 seed, leading the second-place Minnesota Wilderness by eight points. The Bruins will play a large part in their fate, playing the ‘Tauros in four of their remaining seven games. Austin’s playoff hopes are dwindling but they are still mathematically alive as they look for a strong finish to what has been an inconsistent season and a rough last month and a half.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

St. Patty’s Day: The Bruins and Pacelli Catholic Schools have teamed up for their second annual “Pacelli Night” and this year it comes right on St. Patrick’s Day! Pacelli High School has been selling Ticket/T-Shirt/Coupon Packs for $25-40 (Bear Den), with $15 from each pack raising funds for Pacelli Schools and the Pacelli Boosters. In addition, Pacelli will run a 50-50 raffle at Friday’s game and raise money through the help of the Bruins with a postgame live auction of a special green Bruins jersey that Bruiser has been modeling all month long.

Adams Family: Although Alex Adams is 2nd on the Minotauros in scoring and 1st in goals, it has been a recent hot streak that has defined his season. Entering play on Friday, Adams has 7 goals and 3 assists in his last seven games, including three points in the last Bruins series on February 24th and 25th in Minot. Prior to his three-point game that got it all started – against the Wilderness on February 18th, Adams had only five points in a 15-game stretch.

Close Contests: The Bruins are 0-4-0 against Minot this season but the last three games have all been decided by just one goal. The ‘Tauros routed the Bruins in the opener on October 28th at Riverside by a 7-3 final, but the next three have been 3-2, 4-3, and 3-2 finals respectively. In both games in North Dakota last month, the Bruins rallied from two goal deficits, but couldn’t come away with a point in either game.

Road Warriors: Minot’s 16 road wins are the 2nd most in the NAHL, only to Lone Star’s 22. This stat comes despite Minot holding the lowest point total of any division-leading team in the league by nine points. This is nothing new for Marty Murray’s squad, which went 18-9-3 a year ago, the 4th best mark in the league.

THE MATCHUP –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM GP W L OTL PTS
Minot 53 33 16 4 70
MN Wilderness 52 28 18 6 62
Brookings 51 26 20 5 57
Aberdeen 52 25 23 4 54
Bismarck 52 25 25 2 52
Austin 52 20 26 6 46

2016-17 Bruins vs. Minot Head to Head (Minot leads 4-0-0)
click date for game story

10/28/16 Minot 7 at Austin 3
10/29/16 Minot 3 at Austin 2
02/24/17 Austin 3 at Minot 4
02/25/17 Austin 2 at Minot 3
03/17/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
03/18/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
03/31/17 @ Minot – 7:35 PM
04/01/17 @ Minot – 7:35 PM

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

Date Time Opponent Venue Viewing Party TV Radio
3/17/17 7:05 Minot Minotauros Riverside Arena NONE HockeyTV (HOME) NONE
3/18/17 7:05 Minot Minotauros Riverside Arena NONE HockeyTV (HOME) NONE

Doors open at 6:00 PM on Friday and Saturday night at Riverside Arena for a pair of 7:05 faceoffs. Friday night’s promotion is Pacelli Night (see details above) while Saturday is Girl Scout Night – $5 admission for all girl scouts in uniform, with a paid adult.

Fans can purchase discount general admission tickets at Hy Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn in Austin for $4 off the door price ($11 for adults and $8 for students and seniors).

For fans that can’t make it out, broadcast coverage will begin on HockeyTV ten minutes prior to puck drop each night, with the “HOME” feed carrying the Bruins broadcast.