Post Game Report 2-24
OREGON, Wis. – There isn’t a simpler summary for the North Iowa Bulls’ 2-1 overtime victory over the Wisconsin Whalers on Friday night than the Whalers’ choices for their Three Stars of the Game – the two goaltenders and the man who scored the game-winning goal. In a game where the two teams combined for 88 shots, it was a goal from Tyler Bump (Prior Lake, Minn./Minnesota Magicians) that ended a 2-1 hockey game with less than a minute to go in overtime.
Wisconsin scored first, at the 12:16 mark of the first period – Ben Ratner rolled a puck slowly in front for Drew Scites (Plymouth, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.), who kicked it away from the net to his left. Unfortunately, that rebound ended up right in front of Connor Boscaccy, who swatted it into the net for the opening goal.
Bump would be responsible for both goals in Friday’s game – a pass from Mike Lyons (Wheaton, Ill./North Iowa Bulls) along the left-wing boards wound up right in front of the net, where he would tip in the tying goal off the toe of his stick.
North Iowa ripped off 20 shots in the final period of regulation, but it would take an extra 4:02 to earn the win. The game-winning goal would end up underneath Max McConnell and in the back of the cage thanks to a slow, rolling pass from Sean Mallonee (Kennewick, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) across the bottom of the slot. Bump’s soft-toss one-timer would trickle through the five-hole for the final tally of a 2-1 overtime win.
“I had a short little breakaway there, and I just lost the puck,” said Mallonee. “Shane Bernhardson (Apple Valley, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) was on the rush with us – he got it low, and it was just me and Bump. We made eye contact and had a little conversation in our heads to each other, and I just saw him backdoor and he buried it.”
It was a long weekend for both goaltenders – both Scites and McConnell played 124 minutes apiece, with Scites pushing aside 62 of the Whalers’ 64 shots. McConnell didn’t get nearly as much rest, facing 113 shots (and making 105 saves) in those 124 minutes. He stopped 53 of North Iowa’s 55 shots in Friday’s contest, at least netting the Whalers a point for the weekend. Those 53 saves topped his career mark of 52, a mark that was barely a night old when the teams left the ice at the end of this one.
For the Bulls, it’s a six-game point streak in the Central Division standings, including three wins in a row heading into the final homestand of the regular season. Ahead on the schedule is a six-game homestand, including a home playoff game on Friday, Mar. 17.
The Midwest Division champion St. Louis Jr. Blues will make their two-game visit to “The Barn” this coming Friday and Saturday, Mar. 3 and 4. Both games are set to start at 7:30 p.m. All Bulls games, home and away, are streamed live on HockeyTV – Bulls home games and select road games are also audio-streamed on Mixlr.