PLYMOUTH, Mich. – As the North Iowa Bulls look ahead to the final two weekends of the regular season, and the Fraser Cup playoffs to follow, seven Bulls and the North Iowa coaching staff are looking back at a strong two-day showing at the NA3HL’s Top Prospects showcase at the USA Hockey Arena on Tuesday and Wednesday.
North Iowa Bulls players appeared for three different teams at the tournament: the Blue squad representing the Central and Coastal Divisions, the Orange squad representing the East and Midwest Divisions, and a White squad made up of selected 18-and-under stars across the league. Here’s how they fared:
BLUE (1-1-1): There were plenty of Bulls vs. Bulls matchups for the Blue squad, playing each of the other two teams over the course of the event. The Blue team lost to the White 18U Selects squad by a 5-3 count, and beat the Red 18U Selects 4-1. The final game against the Orange team went to overtime, with Blue falling 4-3. Defenseman Jake Joyaux scored a goal against both the White and Orange teams, with Brendan Studioso notching a pair of assists and Tyler Bump tallying one assist for the week. Colin Cain took all three decisions in net, playing 81 total minutes in the three appearances.
WHITE (3-0-0): This group of 18U Selects proves there’s a lot of young, up-and-coming talent in the NA3HL, beating the Blue squad 5-3, the Orange team 4-1, and the Grey squad (Frontier/West Divisions) 6-1. Jarod Blackowiak and Cameron Fagerlee each tallied a goal for the week, with Blackowiak adding an assist to his total.
ORANGE (2-0-1): Only one player from the Bulls roster was on this squad – Tyler Hawk was named to the Orange team on the strength of his play with the Pittsburgh Vengeance earlier this year. His selection was a good one, with Hawk posting a 1.26 goals-against average and stopping 92 percent of the shots he faced in 82 minutes on the ice over the three games. Hawk took the loss against the White 18U Selects, but outdid his North Iowa counterpart for an overtime win over the Blue team in the finale.
The NA3HL schedule resumed for the New England Stars and Long Beach Sharks on Thursday, while the rest of the league returns in earnest Friday. North Iowa hosts La Crosse in one of 15 games across the league, with the opening faceoff at the North Iowa Ice Arena scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Live streaming coverage is available on HockeyTV, with free audio streaming on Mixlr. For advance tickets to this weekend’s games against La Crosse, or any future Bulls home game, click here.