2018-19 Playoff Preview: West Division Semifinals vs. Rochester

 

 

THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:

FRIDAY – Rochester @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ Rochester, 7:05 p.m.

ROCHESTER GRIZZLIES, 31-15-1-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
vs. NORTH IOWA BULLS, 32-12-3-0 (ROSTERSTATS)

 

COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free)

BULLS vs. ROCHESTER ALL-TIME: 2-3-1

THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa opens its playoff run this Friday night, with a Bulls jersey giveaway to the fans holding the three best signs during pregame warmups. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.

FRESH START: This has been a historic season for the Rochester Grizzlies, in their debut NA3HL season. Not only is it the first time that a Rochester entry in the NA3HL has finished above fourth place, but in winning 31 games, this year’s squad won more games than the previous entry did in its three total years in the league. The Rochester Ice Hawks won 26 games over three seasons, finishing fourth back-to-back years with identical 10-36-1 records. The final Ice Hawks team won just six games, finishing at the bottom of the 2017-18 Central Division standings. 

ALL IN THE FAMILY: North Iowa forward Brendan Studioso has combined outstanding longevity with notable talent in order to post some incredible numbers as a member of the Bulls. Studioso is headed west again in 2019-20, committing early this past week to the ACHA Division I program at Arizona State University. He’ll join a pair of former Bulls there – Jett Larson and younger cousin John Studioso made their Sun Devil club debuts last year. “Studie” is one of only three players to notch more than 100 games in a Bulls uniform, and ranks in the top five in franchise history in goals, assists and total points.

GIVING ‘EM A LIFT: In committing to the St. Mary’s University hockey program, Jimmy McDermott unloaded a true weight from his shoulders ahead of last weekend’s games. He played like it, with four goals and an assist, earning the league’s Bauer Hockey West Division Star of the Week award. It was his first Star of the Week honor this season, and his first hat trick since scoring three against Wausau in December of 2017 while with the Wisconsin Whalers.

VERSTEGEN, KUBITZ SQUARE AWAY COMMITMENTS: Two more late-week commitments have come in for North Iowa as the teams head out to open the postseason. Peter Verstegen put another college commitment on the board for the Bulls, committing to Wisconsin-Stout on Thursday. The UW-Stout roster is loaded with former Bulls, with six North Iowa alumni on the roster. Four became Blue Devils directly from North Iowa. Jack Kubitz has signed an NAHL tender with the Bismarck Bobcats, becoming the fifth Bull this year to sign with an NAHL team.

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