THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
FRIDAY – North Iowa @ St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ St. Louis, 2:00 p.m.
NORTH IOWA BULLS, 4-2-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ ST. LOUIS JR. BLUES, 4-0-1-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$)
BULLS VS. ST. LOUIS ALL-TIME: 14-6-2
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa returns home on Friday, Oct. 19 to face Breezy Point and begin a seven-game homestand. The Bulls will host “Fire and Ice Night” on Friday, with free admission to area firefighters and half-price admission to their families. A hot-wing challenge will be held during the intermissions, with a firetruck bounce house for the younger fans. Saturday, law-enforcement officers will get their night on “Light it Up Night,” with the same admission discounts and an intermission donut-eating contest. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
HORSESHOES AND HAND-GRENADES: This past March, St. Louis came as close as it’s come to a Fraser Cup championship since 2012, when the Jr. Blues made their last appearance in the NA3HL’s championship game. Seven players are back from last year’s Fraser Cup runner-up team, including Dante Jones, who kept up a point-per-game pace last season. In all, four players with double-digit goal totals from a year ago are back on this year’s St. Louis roster.
STALEMATE: While North Iowa leads the overall head-to-head series since the Bulls’ entry into the NA3HL in 2011, wins have been hard to come by on the Jr. Blues’ home rink in the last few seasons. St. Louis has won four of the six games they’ve played against the Bulls at the Affton Ice Rink over the last four years, including both of its home games against North Iowa last season. In the previous seven years, North Iowa and St. Louis have played 10 times in Affton, with each team coming out on top five times.
FINISH STRONG: With the Bulls’ four-goal outburst against New Ulm last Saturday in the final 20 minutes, North Iowa is up to a 10-5 scoring advantage over their opponents in the third period. Their second-period mark is even more impressive, outscoring opponents 9-2 in the middle stanza over their six games. In five outings, St. Louis has outlasted their opponents mightily, with a 14-1 scoring margin in their favor in the second period, and 15-2 in the third period. Their overtime loss at Granite City two weeks ago was their first defeat during the bonus round since a 3-2 loss on Feb. 11, 2017 at home against Peoria.
SHOOTING BLANKS: Thanks to an opening-weekend three-game set at Evansville, the Jr. Blues are the only team in the NA3HL this season with three goaltenders who have registered a shutout. The New England Stars and Granite City Lumberjacks are the only other teams in the league with two goalies who have registered shutouts this season, and second-year Great Falls Americans backstop Drew Scites is the only goalie in the league with more than one. Heading into the first month of October, there have been 19 shutouts in the NA3HL, with four total between the two teams in this weekend set. St. Louis outscored the Jr. Thunderbolts by a total of 33-0 over those first three games of the season, using three different goaltenders in their initial road trip to Evansville.