MASON CITY, Iowa – Shane Bernhardson hasn’t made his biggest mark as a North Iowa Bull with his goal-scoring. The third-year North Iowa defenseman’s calling cards have been his experience and leadership, and any scoring opportunities he’s gotten have been a very nice bonus.
There have been quite a few of those bonuses recently, with all of his 10 goals this season coming since the Christmas break. He buried another three goals this past weekend, earning the NA3HL’s Bauer Central Division Star of the Week award to cap off an outstanding regular season.
Two of those goals came against the New Ulm Steel in a 5-1 win on Saturday, helping North Iowa seal its first-ever season sweep against the Steel and denying New Ulm its first-ever division title. The last of his three goals came Sunday, in a 15-0 win over the Wausau RiverWolves, who will face the Bulls this weekend in their first-ever NA3HL playoff series. The Apple Valley, Minnesota native also added four assists in the regular-season finale.
“Shane has really made an impact on our team this year,” said head coach Todd Sanden. “As our captain, he leads by example in all areas. He plays with an incredible amount of discipline and with the poise that a veteran should.”
It’s the 10th time this season that a North Iowa player has earned the division’s Star of the Week honor, and the second time this year that Bernhardson has been bestowed with the award. The first of those came after his first-ever hat trick over the New Year’s weekend against the Rochester Ice Hawks.
North Iowa and Wausau square off Friday night at the North Iowa Ice Arena to begin the NA3HL Fraser Cup Central Division Playoffs, with the opening faceoff at 7:30 p.m. The two teams will also meet up in Wausau on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. for the second game of their best-of-three series. Live streaming coverage both nights is available on HockeyTV, with free audio streaming on Mixlr.
The first 100 fans in the door on Friday night will receive free North Iowa Bulls foam fingers. For advance tickets to Friday night’s home game or any future Bulls home contest, click here.