SUNDAY – North Iowa @ New Ulm, 3:00 p.m.
BULLS vs. NEW ULM ALL-TIME: 43-8-2
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa returns to the “Barn” on Friday and Saturday night, February 15 and 16, as we celebrate our “Grateful Weekend” with Grateful Dead-inspired jerseys. Those will be auctioned off Saturday night, to benefit the Humane Society of North Iowa. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click the“Game Day Fun” link at NorthIowaBulls.com.
SLUMP-BUSTING: It’s hard to characterize Jimmy McDermott as being in a slump – he missed four weeks with injuries following the Bulls’ final game of 2018 at Rochester. However, he did not register a point in his return to the ice two weeks ago against Alexandria. He’s come roaring back, though, scoring six goals in his last four games. Jarod Blackowiak has also become the next player to break out of a rut – his 22 goals ranks second on the roster this year, and he had a goal in each game this weekend against Willmar. He had not hit the back of the net yet in 2019 entering the weekend.
GIVE HIM A HAND: Brendan Studioso’s been a relatively quiet presence on the stat sheet lately as well, but his assist in last Saturday’s loss to Granite City quietly put him all alone in the Bulls’ list of top five all-time scorers. That assist snuck him past Rihards Marenis, who is currently playing in his native Latvia in the Kontinental Hockey League. With a big finish he could reach number-four Marshall Barnes, who is still 14 points ahead of the Mukilteo, Washington native. He also ranks fifth in team history in assists (nine behind Brett Gravelle) and his goal last night tied him with Connor Clemons for fifth on that all- time list as well.
CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN: With those two wins, North Iowa has cemented its spot in second place in the NA3HL West Division for the time being, with a better record and more overall points than the Rochester Grizzlies. New Ulm has also been doing some climbing in recent games – the Steel swept the Alexandria Blizzard in a West Division home-and-home this weekend, winning 3-1 in Friday’s contest at the Runestone Community Center and scoring a 4-3 comeback victory on Sunday on the Olympic rink in New Ulm. Four different players lit the lamp for New Ulm in Saturday night’s game, but Jack Parks came up big with a pair of goals on Alexandria’s home ice on Friday night.