FRIDAY – North Iowa @ Granite City, 7:30 p.m.
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$)
BULLS VS. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 33-21-4
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa returns to the “Barn” on Friday and Saturday night, February 1 and 2, as we “Rock the Barn” against the Granite City Lumberjacks, courtesy of Coca-Cola and the Atlantic Bottling Company. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
WE’VE BEEN WELL-ACQUAINTED: This will be the 60th meeting all-time between the Bulls and Lumberjacks – North Iowa has not played any NA3HL team as often as it has played Granite City over its seven-plus-year history. These teams got to know each other plenty during their first four years together in the West – in fact, during the 2014-15 campaign, the teams matched up against each other an incredible 14 times.
MAKE THE CALL: The Bulls have lost two players in as many weeks to the North American Hockey League – goaltender Connor Poczos was called up to the Lone Star Brahmas early this week, winning eight games in a North Iowa uniform. He knows the routine rather well in the NAHL, with a dozen appearances to his name in the Tier II ranks. Carter Wagner also knows the routine well – he played 35 games for the Minnesota Magicians before joining the Bulls two weeks ago for their weekend series at Alexandria. After tallying two goals in a Saturday night win, Wagner was also off to the South Division, joining the Odessa Jackalopes.
DOWN SOUTH: The connection between the Bulls and the NAHL’s South Division also includes tender news from the past week – North Iowa defenseman Harrison Stewart signed a tender with the Amarillo Bulls last weekend, giving North Iowa’s sister franchise in the South the first opportunity to put him on the ice at the Tier II level. The Rockford, Illinois native has 27 points on the year, leading the Bulls’ defensive corps.
LOOKING BACK: Granite City has had North Iowa’s number in recent outings – the ‘Jacks have won four of the last five in the series. Granite City was 3-for-5 on the power play in a 5-1 win in their first meeting in October, followed the next night by a go-ahead tally from Zach DeBoom with 7:06 to go in a 5-3 triumph.