THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ Peoria, 6:45 p.m.
SUNDAY – North Iowa @ Peoria, 1:15 p.m.
NORTH IOWA BULLS, 0-0-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ PEORIA MUSTANGS, 0-2-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free)
BULLS VS. PEORIA ALL-TIME: 7-4-0
NEXT HOME GAME: The Bulls play five games on the road to begin the 2018-19 season before hosting the New Ulm Steel Sep. 29 in the earliest home opener in franchise history. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click the “Game Day Fun” link at NorthIowaBulls.com.
MAKE A COMMITMENT: 14 players from last year’s team made direct commitments to college programs along with several former Bulls. The headline commitment of the year was former North Iowa and Fairbanks Ice Dogs netminder Josh Benson’s commitment to Division I Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. Five Bulls signed North American Hockey League tender agreements for this season.
RETURNING TALENT: With the addition of Brendan Studioso (who had previously signed a tender agreement with the Minnesota Wilderness), North Iowa will have seven players on its Opening Night roster who appeared a year ago. It’s the first time since the 2012-13 season that North Iowa has no players on the roster who return with championship experience.
PRESEASON PROSE: The Aberdeen Wings picked up a 7-1 victory on Friday night and a 9-0 victory Saturday as the Bulls made the trip to South Dakota for a preseason series against the NAHL’s defending Central Division champs. The big showing was not unexpected for a Wings team that registered 16 college commitments last year (including 12 NCAA Division I commitments). Both teams were forced out of the playoffs earlier than expected, with Aberdeen’s ouster coming against a surprising Minot Minotauros team that eventually reached the Robertson Cup championship game.
PAY THE MAN: Two Bulls alumni are off to the professional ranks this season in Europe. Latvian native Rihards Marenis has signed on with HK MOGO in Latvia’s top professional hockey league this season after being one of the last preseason cuts from the KHL’s Dynamo Riga this summer. Tim Santopaolo is also off to Europe, joining fourth-level Swedish side Svegs IK. Four former Bulls are currently active in professional hockey, with three on pro rosters overseas.