THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
FRIDAY – Willmar @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY – Willmar @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
WILLMAR WARHAWKS, 1-11-1-0, 3 pts (ROSTER, STATS)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS, 10-5-0-0, 20 pts (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free)
BULLS VS. WILLMAR ALL-TIME: 3-0-1
THIS WEEK’S PROMOTIONS: This weekend is College Weekend at the North Iowa Ice Arena – all college students with a valid college ID will be admitted to both night’s games for just $5. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
GOT TWO GET THERE: North Iowa’s big weekend against the Alexandria Blizzard, and Rochester’s loss to Breezy Point last weekend, have put Todd Sanden’s team on the cusp of the West Division lead. The Bulls are just two games back of the top spot, but the last part of the ledge is a steep one – while the Grizzlies, Bulls and Blizzard have all played 15 games, Granite City has reached the 22-point mark in just 12 games. They’ll enter the weekend on a 10-game winning streak ahead of their home-and-home set Friday and Saturday against Alexandria.
RUNNING OF THE BULLS: North Iowa’s top players enter this weekend on some impressive streaks – Connor Poczos still has not been beaten as a Bull, and is 5-0-0-0 on the year with a shutout. The longest point streak on the team belongs to Brendan Studioso, who has notched five goals and seven assists over a seven-game scoring run. The latest point streaks for Jimmy McDermott and Peter Verstegen are up to five games apiece – McDermott has notched 12 points in that time, including nine assists. Verstegen is at seven goals and three assists during his five-game run.
STAR OF THE WEEK: Peter Verstegen has been a star on the power play this season, staying near the top of the NA3HL leaderboard with six goals on the man-advantage. With his four goals this past weekend (including three on the power play), Verstegen was named this past week’s Bauer Hockey West Division Star of the Week. North Iowa has only had two Star of the Week honorees this season, with Brendan Studioso earning the honor back in late September.
HOT & COLD: North Iowa has one of the hottest power-play units in the league, scoring a goal in six straight games with the extra man on the ice. On the other side is a Willmar power play that comes into the weekend at the bottom of the league’s penalty-kill standings (60.4 percent).