THIS WEEKEND’S GAME:
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
NORTH IOWA BULLS, 21-6-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ ROCHESTER GRIZZLIES, 19-7-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free)
BULLS VS. ROCHESTER ALL-TIME: 1-2-0
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa returns to home ice on January 4 for “Cinemania Night” against the New Ulm Steel, featuring appearances from some of your favorite movie characters, including the Minions, Frozen’s Olaf, Spiderman and Spongebob Squarepants. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
NEUTRAL-ICE NOTES: The Bulls have been a tough team to take down in the NA3HL Showcase in recent years – this year’s 3-0 mark at the Schwan Super Rink pushed North Iowa’s Showcase winning streak to seven games. Rochester lost its Showcase finale 2-1 to the Peoria Mustangs, finishing 2-1 in the event. In all, five of the seven West Division teams won all three games at this year’s Showcase.
PICKING NEXT YEAR’S PACK: The North Iowa Bulls have their first NAHL tender in the books for next season – that one belongs to defenseman Evan Junker, who signed on with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Thursday. Junker hails from Elk River, Minnesota, the same hometown as Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart. The first-year
Bulls blue-liner has gotten off to a big start this year, coming into his 2018 finale with 20 points, including 16 assists. That number ranks second among defensemen on this year’s North Iowa roster.
TEEN SPIRIT: Matt Dahlseide’s assist on Tuesday’s opening goal for the Bulls ramped his point streak up to 15 consecutive games, only the seventh such streak in North Iowa history. He is the sixth player to post a point streak of 15 games or more, with Matt Kroska posting two during his Bulls career. Two others (Kroska, Rihards Marenis) are tied with Dahlseide for the fifth-longest point streak on record for North Iowa.
THEIR SPECIAL TEAMS HAVE BEEN A BEAR: If North Iowa wants to hold Rochester off from tying them for second in the West Division standings, they’ll have to contend with a couple of rock-solid Rochester special-teams units. The Grizzlies’ power play went 1-for-5 against New Ulm in Friday night’s win, and picked up a shorthanded goal as well. Their power-play unit comes in as one of the top four groups in the NA3HL, and their 86.4-percent mark on the penalty kill ranks third in the league.