Now into the second half of the 2013-2014 NAHL season, the Aberdeen Wings are still working to regain 2nd place in the Central Division. Austin has a commanding lead at the top, Bismarck is only 4 points ahead of the Wings but travel to take on the Wenatchee Wild this weekend in the tough atmosphere of Town Toyota Center. The Wings with a sweep could improve their chances of getting back into 2nd place. Standing in their way this weekend are the Minotauros of Minot.
Minot struggled at the start of the season including two shutout losses to the Wings. After losing 7 in-a-row, last weekend the Minotauros downed Brookings and beat Bismarck 2-1. Those two wins will give the Minotauros some momentum coming into the Odde Ice Center this weekend.
The Aberdeen Wings were swept by Austin last weekend, but have been on the practice rink all week preparing for redemption. Special teams could play a big role for the Aberdeen Wings who hold the 2nd best power play in the NAHL and 8th best penalty kill in NAHL. The bad news for the Minotauros, their special teams are ranked last in power play percentage and 21st in penalty kill. But for special teams to take effect, the Wings or Minotauros need to commit a penalty. Minot has the 2nd least amount of penalty minutes while Aberdeen has the least amount of penalty minutes in the NAHL.
This season alone the Wings are 5-3-0 against the Minotauros. In the 8 games played versus Minot, Wings forward #24 Jonathan Grebosky (F-Pittsburgh, PA) has scored 4 goals and 5 assists. Line-mate #27 Erik Baskin (F-Minnetonka, MN) has also tallied 3 goals and 4 assists. The Aberdeen Wings will also be welcoming back forward #21 Bjorn Sigurdarson (F-Reykjavik, Iceland) who rejoins the team after playing in the 2014 World Junior Championships for his native team Iceland. Sigurdarson was named Iceland’s MVP after scoring 4 goals and 4 assists in the tournament. Against Minot this season, Sigurdarson has scored 2 goals and 3 assists in 7 games.
Though 2-2 against Aberdeen this season, Minotauros goaltender Brandon Wildung has a 1.48 goals against average. This season he is 10-11-1 overall. Wings goaltender Chad Catt (G-Williamstown, MI) had two shutout wins against the Minotauros earlier this season and overall is 14-8-1. In the statistic column of goals against average, this game will feature two of the top 20 goaltenders in the NAHL.
So far in the 2013-2014 season, the Wings have been led by rookie forward #11 TJ Roo (F-Coon Rapids, MN) with 31 pts including 13 goals and 18 assists. Sigurdarson is 2nd on the team with 27 points including 8 goals and 19 assists. The Minot Minotauros don’t have a 20-point performer yet this season, while Aberdeen boasts 8 players with 20+ points.
Doors to the Odde Ice Center open both Friday and Saturday night at 5:30pm with puck drop at 7:15pm. General admission is just $10, reserved seating is $12. During the 1st intermission of Saturday night’s game Wings fans will be able to compete in a dance competition with great prizes awarded. Dress up, wear some flashy accessories…anything to win!