THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
FRIDAY – North Iowa @ Granite City, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ Granite City, 7:30 p.m.
NORTH IOWA BULLS, 4-0-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ GRANITE CITY LUMBERJACKS, 2-0-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$)
BULLS vs. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 33-24-5
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa takes the ice on October 4 for its final home opener in the North Iowa Ice Arena, sponsored by Kabrick Distributing of Mason City. The last home-opening blowout at the “Barn” features a pregame tailgate party, a postgame skate, $2 draws and more. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
WINNING AT WALDORF: North Iowa is 4-0 in North American Tier 3 Hockey League action, but in a manner of speaking, the Bulls will come in with five straight wins off of a victory at Waldorf University on Wednesday evening. The Bulls beat the ACHA Division I newcomers by outshooting the Warriors by a 52-26 margin and scoring three goals in a four-and-a-half-minute span of the second period. Campbell Cichosz and Nick Bowlin each notched a goal and an assist, but Matt Dahlseide had the most impressive night of them all, with three assists.
PREEMINENT PRESEASON/POSTSEASON POWER: Two of the top players on the Bulls’ roster at this early point in the season are also two of the roster’s youngest players. Campbell Cichosz buried a goal and an assist in the final period of North Iowa’s Sunday afternoon win at Peoria, and added another goal and assist in Wednesday’s exhibition at Waldorf. Zachary Simon had another huge weekend last week against the Mustangs, earning the division’s Second Star of the Week. His two goals and two assists were a major contribution for North Iowa in those two wins, and he heads to the final weekend of September as the team’s leading scorer. Both players are preseason/postseason players, meaning they are current high school students who will rejoin their high school rosters at the beginning of the season, and will be able to return to North Iowa after their high school seasons if they so choose.
SENSATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS: The sample size is small, but the Bulls have put up some impressive numbers over the first two weeks of their season. Todd Sanden’s team went 4-for-11 on the man-advantage in Peoria, including a 3-for-6 mark in Sunday afternoon’s win. That has pushed North Iowa’s power play mark to a division-best 50 percent. The best work, though, might be at the other end of the rink on the penalty kill. The Mustangs came up empty on all nine power play chances last weekend, putting the Bulls’ penalty-killing mark at 90 percent for the season. Thanks to a pair of shorthanded goals, the Bulls are one of three teams in the league – Lewiston/Auburn and Mid-Cities are the others – who have scored more on opponents’ power plays than their opponents have.