THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
FRIDAY – North Iowa @ Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
SATURDAY – Rochester @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
ROCHESTER GRIZZLIES, 26-14-1-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS, 29-10-2-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free – Friday only)
BULLS vs. ROCHESTER ALL-TIME: 2-2-0
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa begins its season-ending five-game homestand Saturday night with “Support Your School Night” – the Bulls will raffle off a laptop to one lucky student, and the school with the most students in attendance wins recess with the Bulls. Students will be admitted free, with $5 admission for college students. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
ATTABOY IN ATTLEBORO: North Iowa sent a contingent of five to the NA3HL Top Prospects showcase in Attleboro, Massachusetts early this past week, with four players and head coach Todd Sanden making the trip east. The West Division finished 2-1 on the trip, losing to the Central Division all-stars, but scoring wins over teams representing the Coastal Division and South Division. Jimmy McDermott posted a goal and an assist against the South Division, with Joey Petronack and Ivan Bogach notching an assist apiece. Peter Verstegen also took part in the event, but did not post a point in the three games.
STUDIE’S SURGE NETS STAR OF THE WEEK: Brendan Studioso was North Iowa’s last Bauer Hockey West Division Star of the Week three months ago, but the third-year forward from Washington state is the latest Star of the Week. Studioso set up a pair of goals in the 6-3 win on Friday night against St. Louis, and added a goal to his couple of assists in Saturday’s 7-4 triumph. It’s the third time this season he’s been named the West Division’s Star of the Week, and the fifth such honor for the Bulls this season.
NUMBER CRUNCHING: The bad news for Todd Sanden’s team is, time is running out to catch Granite City at the top of the West Division standings. The good news is, the Bulls can lock Rochester out of a top-two finish in the division this weekend, and get double credit for their work in the process. The Lumberjacks are eight points ahead of the Bulls with just six games to go and have won all four meetings this season. Their magic number for a division title is just four, meaning a win and a North Iowa regulation loss at any point the rest of the way would seal the deal. However, North Iowa is seven points ahead of the Grizzlies with just six games to go. The magic number for home-ice in the first round is just six points – as long as the Bulls gain more standings points than Rochester this weekend, North Iowa will earn home-ice in the first round of the playoffs.