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Bulls 4-0 at Showcase in Blaine MN

The North Iowa Bulls went 4-0 at the NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., the past four days.

And the Bulls (17-2-1-1, 36 points) didn’t just win all four games, they dominated on both ends of the ice, outscoring their opponents 26-3.

“Everything was really clicking this weekend,” North Iowa coach Todd Sanden said. “We came out of there giving up three goals in four games, which is just outstanding. We got great play from our goaltenders, our defensemen and our forwards.”

North Iowa got things started on Friday with a 5-2 victory over Peoria in which the Mustangs scored their second goal with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left in the second period.

Over the course of the next 167 minutes, 17 seconds of game time, Bulls goaltenders Aaron Davis and Matt Bartels didn’t allow a goal as the Bulls shut out Metro 9-0 on Saturday and Queen City 7-0 on Sunday before defeating Michigan 5-1 — giving up a short-handed goal — on Monday.

“How often does that happen with two different goaltenders?” Sanden asked. “You see it at times with the same goaltender, but not two different guys in net.”

Sanden said a big part of his goaltenders’ success was due to great play by the guys in front of them.

“The guys were so good in front of them,” the coach said. “The one goal we gave up (Monday) was miscommunication on the power-play.”

While the goaltenders were getting the job done, so was the offense.

North Iowa’s 26 goals in the four games came from 10 different players.

Leading the offense was John Forseth, who had five goals, including four in the victory over Metro.

“John is good friends with Steve Heller, who played for us last year,” Sanden said. “He was tendered by Aberdeen and played in five games for them but was just sitting around in Bemidji. We got a call that we should check him out, and since we were a little short-handed we decided to give him a call.

“The first game for us he got his feet wet and the second game he ended up with four goals and had another goal in the third game. He’s a player with great skill and determination and we’ll see what we can do to keep him here.”

Meanwhile, Taylor Brown had four goals while North Iowa received three apiece from Patrick Sivets, Timothy Santopoalo, Preston Blanek and Matt Kroska.

“Something we looked for in the off-season was depth,” Sanden said. “With four games in four days, you need that depth and I thought all four of our lines played tremendously.”

Sanden is hoping his team continues its hot play at home against the Minnesota Flying Aces on Friday and Twin City Steel on Saturday.

“I’m really glad with how we played, but we’re happy to get back home as there’s nothing more fun than seeing our barn rocking,” Sanden said. “We’ll give the guys (today) off, have a light skate on Wednesday and then get into preparing for this weekend on Thursday.” 

– Globe Gazette