THIS WEEK’S GAME:
TUESDAY – North Iowa @ Willmar, 7:00 p.m.
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$)
BULLS vs. WILLMAR ALL-TIME: 13-0-1
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS: Friday and Saturday marks the season’s final jersey auction weekend, with proceeds to benefit Families of the Fallen, based in Forest City. The Bulls will wear special jerseys both nights, which will be auctioned off following Saturday’s game. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
OUT OF TIME: The WarHawks have made an impressive run at the Fraser Cup playoffs, but time is not on their side with two weeks to go. Of their four remaining games, two are against North Iowa, and Willmar finds itself down five points to fourth-place Alexandria with the Blizzard holding two games in hand. Should the Bulls earn a win in this game, Alexandria would find itself within a single victory or a single Willmar loss of clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division.
WITHIN SIGHT: On the other side of the ledger, North Iowa’s sweep of the Jr. Blues and Granite City’s two losses to Alexandria and New Ulm last weekend have put the Bulls in the driver’s seat for the West Division championship. The obvious best-case scenario for North Iowa would be a four-win week – should the Bulls win all four games against Peoria and Willmar over the following six days, a single Lumberjacks loss of any variety at St. Louis this weekend would seal the West Division title ahead of the Bulls’ weekend at Granite City to close out the regular season.
WEST IS BEST: Six North Iowa players and head coach Todd Sanden have been in action since the last Bulls game, heading to the NA3HL’s Top Prospects event early last week in Attleboro, Massachusetts. It was a stellar showing for the West Division, who was the only 3-0 finisher – the West outscored its opponents 23-3, including a 9-0 rout of the Central all-stars. Lucas Wahlin was the tournament’s top scorer by far, with five goals and five assists – Breezy Point’s Garrett Freeman was the number-two scorer, posting six points for the West. Evan Babekuhl finished with two wins, including one in relief. Sota Isogai scored three goals, and Cal Nauss notched three points of his own. Sean Sullivan and Jack Kubitz played in all three games but did not post a point.
WHITE-HOT WARHAWKS: Each of the last two West Star of the Week awards has gone to a Willmar skater – Dylan Svoboda posted back-to-back two-goal games last weekend against Breezy Point, and Brandon Holt notched goals in all three games the previous weekend. Two of his goals were game-winners.