October 15, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
October 16, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Arena – Mason City, IA
NORTH IOWA BULLS (7-2-0-1)
@ MINOT MINOTAUROS (3-6-1-0)
BULLS vs. MINOT ALL-TIME: 2-0-0
IN A NUTSHELL:
After sweeping the Minotauros on their home ice last weekend, North Iowa goes for four more points against Minot at home.
North Iowa leads, 2-0-0.
LAST TIME OUT:
The pace and scoring chances belonged to the Minotauros in the opening 40 minutes of last Saturday’s game, but North Iowa was able to hang in long enough to surge in the third period for five goals on the way to a 6-3 win. After scoring three times in the opening period Friday night, only a breakaway goal from Joey Potter helped the Bulls break through with 4:24 left in the opening period of Saturday’s game. Colby Joseph and David Nesburg tallied back-to-back goals in the second period for the Minotauros, who held a 37-9 shots-on-goal advantage after two periods, including a 21-3 margin in the middle stanza. However, North Iowa rattled off five goals in the third period – including four in a row – for a 6-3 victory. Before the six-minute mark of the period, goals from Max Scott, Hunter Bulger and a shorthanded goal from Carter Rapalje had flipped the game from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead, and Zach Cline posted a goal of his own at the 10:09 mark of the period to cap the run. With the goalie on the bench, Huston Karpman was able to sneak one past Hunter Garvey from the left point with 3:47 remaining, but Anthony Domina sent one from the blue line into the empty Minotauro net with 2:32 to go. Garvey made 45 saves, earning his third win in a row, and the penalty-killing units combined on a perfect night again, going 6-for-6 on the evening.
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS:
North Iowa hosts its “Fall Into Hockey” promotion Friday and Saturday, featuring a pumpkin gutting contest on the ice at the first intermission of Friday’s game, and a pumpkin ring toss on the concourse. The Bulls will host a fall baking contest for Saturday’s game – bake your favorite fall treats and bring them in for our judges at Saturday’s game. A “Bulls BOGO” is also in effect, with buy-one-get-one-free kids’ tickets for both games this weekend.
THEY’RE KILLING IT:
The penalty-killing unit for the Bulls continues to excel, wiping out the last 14 power plays against them and posting an 89.2-percent mark on the penalty kill, good for fourth in the NAHL. The power play, however, is still looking to get plugged in against Central Division opponents – North Iowa is 0-for its last 24 with the extra man, dating back to the Bulls’ marker from Greg Japchen midway through the first period against Kenai River at the NAHL Showcase.
Bulls forward Chris Carroll is riding an eight-game point streak into the new week, including four assists over the last two games against the Minotauros. The last North Iowa player with an eight-game point streak was Lucas Jorgenson, whose goal in a Valentine’s Day loss to Willmar last season closed out his season-long run. No Bulls player has exceeded an eight-game point streak since Matt Dahlseide’s 16-game run wrapped up December 29, 2018.
GIVE ME FIVE!:
The Bulls’ five-goal outburst on Saturday night was a first as an NAHL team – the last time North Iowa scored five goals in a period, they used a six-goal run through the second period to key an 8-1 win over the New Ulm Steel this past February 6. The last five of those goals came in a span of just 3:05.
EASY AS 1-2-3:
Carter Rapalje’s shorthanded goal on Saturday night was the game-winner in the Bulls’ 6-3 victory, giving him three game-winning goals this season. With three game-winners in his first 10 North Iowa appearances, he is one of the fastest Bulls to ever reach three game-winning goals in a season, with Tim Santopoalo scoring three game-winners in North Iowa’s first five games of the 2012-13 season. Kohei Sato (2015-16) and Owen Larson (2016-17) each scored their first three game-winners in fewer than 10 games, and scored their fourth game-winners in their 10th games of the season.
Hunter Garvey’s two wins at Minot last weekend, with 77 saves between the two contests, helped him become North Iowa’s first NAHL Central Division Star of the Week. Garvey made 45 saves in last Saturday’s contest, the most since a 46-save performance by Dysen Skinner against the Rochester Grizzlies in the 2019 NA3HL West Division Semifinals, and the most in a regular-season game since Evan Babekuhl’s 47-save overtime performance against the Grizzlies in February of 2019.
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU AGAIN:
This weekend marks a rarity in the North Iowa Bulls’ schedule, with the Bulls’ only four-game run against the same team in 2021-22. North Iowa closed out the 2020-21 NA3HL regular season with four straight games against the Granite City Lumberjacks, with the Bulls only playing their four West Division counterparts in 2020-21 due to COVID-related travel restrictions. The Bulls also faced the Wausau RiverWolves for four straight games in 2017-18, and took on the Quad City Jr. Fames in back-to-back weeks of the 2012-13 season, and North Iowa opened the 2015 Silver Cup tournament against Granite City after dispatching them in three games in that season’s West Division Finals.