2018-19 Weekend Preview: Games 37 & 38 at Willmar



FRIDAY – North Iowa @ Willmar, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ Willmar, 7:30 p.m.



COVERAGEHockeyTV (video/$)


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-BUSTERS: 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. He’s come roaring back, though, scoring a goal in each game against Granite City last week and tallying a fight in Friday’s game as well. Jarod Blackowiak  will try to become the next player to break out of a rut – his 20 goals ranks second on the roster this year, but he has not hit the back of the net yet in 2019. He did break the ice with an assist each night against the ‘Jacks.

HE’S A HANDFUL: Brendan Studioso’s been a relatively quiet presence on the stat sheet lately as well, but his assist in Saturday night’s loss 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 and sixth in team history in goals.

TO BE THE BEST, YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE BEST…: Willmar hasn’t spent a ton of time in the win column this season, but the WarHawks’ last win was an impressive one – Saverio Posa’s squad got up early  on Granite City in their meeting on January 19 before the Lumberjacks scored three unanswered to grab the lead. Down 4-3, the WarHawks went on the offensive, with Ian Zaleski and Andrew Pitleck burying goals in the final 90 seconds to score the upset. Pitleck’s goal came with just four seconds left.

THERE’S ALWAYS ONE: North Iowa has had Willmar’s number recently – the Bulls have won all four meetings this season, including one by a dozen goals. However, in the Bulls’ first-ever visit to the Willmar Civic Center in 2017, the WarHawks pulled out a 4-3 overtime win. The Bulls have won five straight head-to-head since.