Post Game Report 2-23
OREGON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Whalers came into Thursday’s home game against the Bulls with a five-game winning streak in hand, but the visitors sure were a handful. The Bulls scored five straight goals to start the game, putting away a 6-1 win over Wisconsin. With the victory, the Bulls have now tallied at least one standings point in five straight games of their own. North Iowa threw 58 shots on net, with Whalers netminder Max McConnell walking off with a career-high 52 saves.
Less than seven minutes in, a shot from Jason Miner (Cottage Grove, Minn./Park H.S.) bounced high off of Whalers goalie Max McConnell out to Sean Mallonee (Kennewick, Wash./North Iowa Bulls), who put away the rebound for North Iowa’s first goal of the night. The Whalers were burned by another rebound at 13:14, when Mitch Dolter‘s (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary’s) left-wing wrist shot bounced out front for Tom Reilly (Maplewood, Minn./Minnesota Magicians) to tap in for a 2-0 advantage heading to the first intermission. It was his first goal as a North Iowa Bull, after scoring a single goal for the Chicago Bulldogs back in November.
A nifty handoff pass from Owen Larson (Minneapolis, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) at the top of the slot left a chance for Tyler Bump (Prior Lake, Minn./Minnesota Magicians), who walked a chance right up the slot and buried a soft wrister at the 3:54 mark of the second period.
Special teams didn’t have a big impact on the game, but Alec Artuso’s holding minor at 7:57 of the second stanza set the Bulls up for a successful power play – Nick Klishko (San Diego, Calif./Amarillo Bulls) feinted on a shot from the left hash-marks, opting instead to send a pass inside to Connor Clemons (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.). Clemons took the feed at the front of the net and tapped it in at 8:44 for a 4-0 lead.
The score didn’t change until the 6:15 mark of the third period, but all of the remaining scoring came in a hurry. Marshall Barnes racked up his 49th assist of the season with a tape-to-tape pass to Zach Hayes (Bartlett, Ill./Team Illinois) in the slot for a wrist-shot goal. Connor Boscaccy answered with his 19th goal of the year just 38 seconds later. The final goal came from Bump, off a left-wing pass from Braxton Collins (Eau Claire, Wis./Coulee Region Chill), and by the 7:48 mark of the third, the Bulls had etched their winning margin in stone.
“It took a few games longer than I was hoping, but hopefully this is the start of a good trend [for me],” said Reilly. “The boys got a good win tonight, which is obviously more important, but it feels great.”
Drew Scites (Plymouth, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) earned his third win of the season, stopping 30 of the Whalers’ 31 shots on net. The Bulls bumped their record to 31-8-2 for the season with the victory, while the Whalers fall to 16-19-4, and remain six points behind La Crosse for second place in the Central Division with just two games in hand.
Friday’s game at the Oregon Ice Arena will also start at 7:30 p.m. as North Iowa goes for the regular-season sweep against Wisconsin. All Bulls games, home and away, are streamed live on HockeyTV – Bulls home games and select road games are also audio-streamed on Mixlr.