FRIDAY – Granite City @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
BULLS VS. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 33-23-5
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa continues its season-ending five-game homestand Friday night with Five For Fighting Night, including $5 admission, select Bulls merchandise items for $5, and two beers for $5. Saturday night is our Hockey Pride Night, as we welcome back the 1989 national championship team and recognize North Iowa’s previous junior hockey teams. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
GRAB A HANDFUL: North Iowa is still in control of its own destiny down the stretch, but the Bulls will likely need wins in the final two weeks to fend off a challenge from Rochester for home-ice advantage in the first round of the West Division playoffs. The magic number to clinch second in the division is down to just five points – however, the Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts carry a 66-game losing streak into their weekend set against the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are the only team left that can catch the Bulls for second.
RED-HOT IN THE ICE-COLD: Fresh off the blizzard of the decade in northern Iowa, two North Iowa players are heating up at just the right time – Brendan Studioso has racked up points in his last eight straight games (including assists in his last seven), and Jarod Blackowiak has picked up points in eight of his last nine outings.
RED-HOT BURGUNDY-AND-BLUE: Only two other teams (Binghamton, Great Falls) in the NA3HL are hotter right now than Brad Willner’s Lumberjacks. Granite City comes in with wins in 10 games in a row and points in 11 straight heading into Friday night’s contest in Mason City. The run for the ‘Jacks is at 61 straight games without a loss by more than a single goal – the last team to do it was North Iowa, in Sauk Rapids, last February 9, by a 4-1 count.