AFFTON, Mo. – Neither team in Friday’s game between North Iowa and St. Louis was ever able to score an insurance goal, and as it turned out, 60 minutes wasn’t enough to decide the game to begin with.
The Jr. Blues were the team to score during the bonus round, winning Friday’s game on a goal from Mark Capkovic just 55 seconds in. Capkovic would be the first Jr. Blues player to score, but he’d have to settle for a tying goal – Brendan Studioso (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) opened the scoring at the 10:10 mark of the opening period with time winding down on Melwin Nilsson’s slashing penalty. Daniel Dunaway and Dante Jones would give Capkovic some help on his goal with 1:50 remaining in the period.
Jones would take the lead for St. Louis at the 4:49 mark of the second period – Studioso earned a second goal at 13:15 to tie the game, but Jack Hatton broke the tie a few minutes later to send the Jr. Blues into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
After that, both teams would insist on having the last word – Mitch Dolter (Faribault, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) and Matthew Hohl would trade goals in the first 86 seconds of the third period, but the Bulls wouldn’t be easily deterred – Cameron Fagerlee‘s (St. Anthony, Minn./Totino-Grace H.S.) goal at 4:15 of the final period of regulation tied the game 4-4 and despite a spirited push from both teams the game would reach overtime. Just as soon as the 3-on-3 session began, Capkovic’s extra tally would end it, and North Iowa’s winning streak as well.
The Bulls were the only team to score on the man-advantage, but each team had a close call on the power play – Jones’s go-ahead goal for St. Louis in the second period came just 13 seconds after the end of Peter Verstegen‘s (Oshkosh, Wis./Oshkosh H.S.) slashing penalty. Dunaway took a hooking minor with 1:22 left in the second period, and Dolter’s early third-period goal missed special-teams status by just 12 seconds.
After two momentous wins over the Metro Jets last week, Colin Cain (Hummelstown, Pa./N.J. Junior Titans U18) took his first loss in a Bulls uniform with 26 saves on 31 St. Louis shots. He helped the visitors net a bonus point for getting the game to overtime, but the two-point conversion in the standings went to Hunter Smith and his 29 saves.
The loss means North Iowa won’t be able to pick up their second sweep at St. Louis in team history – they’ll need a win Saturday afternoon to avoid their first-ever road sweep at the Jr. Blues. The opening faceoff at the Affton Ice Rink is scheduled for 2 p.m. Live video streaming is available on HockeyTV.