Training camp is officially under way for the Minot Minotauros. After a week of practice and an inter-squad game Saturday night head coach Shane Wagner said he is impressed.
“The guys are getting in shape and they are getting adapted to each other and every day it looks more and more like a team that we need so been real pleased and we got two weeks to get ready,” Wagner said. “I think we have some good veteran guys some good leadership that’s going to carry us.”
Last season the Minotauros finished 4th in their division losing in the Division Semi-finals.
Coaches and players said to get that far and even past the semi finals they need to focus one game at a time.
“Figure out our game, figure out who our identity is as a team right away and kind of get it all on the same page right away instead of waiting until the end,” Nikolai Charchenko, Defenseman, said.
“For us it’s just consistency. We hit a couple big funks and it took us a while and it took me a while to figure out how to get out of there. I think we ironed out a lot of those things,” Wagner said.
This years team only has eight returners and 25 new guys. For returner Cole Mickel he said having chemistry and good communication off the ice is just as important as having it on.
“Lot of hanging out we’ll all go to lunch quit a bit or hang out afterwards, hang at a guys house watch a movie,” Mickel said. “We went to the Minot high school football game last night as a team so that was fun to get out and just learn about each other. It’s not all about the on the ice, if you can’t trust a guy off the ice you’re not going to trust him on the ice.”
During the inter-squad game Minotauros fans showed up to cheer on their favorite players. And the players like Dean Schwenninger said they can’t wait to compete in front of the full fan base.
“It’s extremely nice I haven’t played hockey like competitively in a couple of months and it’s just amazing coming here and even in front of a few fans. I love it,” Schwenninger said.
The Minotauros open their season on the road against the Bismarck Bobcats on Friday October 1st.