MASON CITY, Iowa – The North Iowa Bulls’ debut season in the North American Hockey League is now one large step closer, with the announcement on Monday of the team’s 2021-22 regular-season schedule. The move up the junior hockey ladder also means some significant changes to the Bulls’ schedule, with a 60-game regular-season schedule at the NAHL level compared to 47 games in the NA3HL. North Iowa will play 28 home games this coming season, along with 28 road games and four games on neutral ice at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Bulls’ inaugural season in the NAHL will begin at the Showcase, which is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15 to Saturday, September 18 at the Super Rink. North Iowa will play four games in four days at that event, with exact game times and opponents to be announced at a later date.
The home schedule is a favorable one for the Bulls, with 27 of the 28 home dates at the Mason City Multipurpose Arena set for either a Friday or Saturday evening. Only a Thursday contest, on January 27 against the St. Cloud Norsemen, will be played on home ice outside of the traditional weekend availability.
The 2019 Robertson Cup champion Aberdeen Wings will be the first NAHL team to play an official contest in Mason City against the Bulls, with North Iowa’s home opener set for Friday, September 24. The two teams will get very familiar with each other over the course of the season, with 12 games on the schedule between the Bulls and the Wings. North Iowa will also play the Austin Bruins and the Bismarck Bobcats 12 times each, while the Bulls will face St. Cloud and the Minot Minotauros eight times apiece.
The following weekend sees a burgeoning rivalry get off the ground, as North Iowa squares off with Austin for the first time, with less than an hour’s drive between the teams. North Iowa will host the Bruins on Friday, October 1, while Austin will host the Bulls for the first time the following night. It will be the first time since 1985 that junior hockey teams from Mason City and Austin have squared off against each other.
Two-game weekends against the Minot Minotauros (October 15-16) and the Bismarck Bobcats (November 5-6) mark those teams’ first visits to downtown Mason City, while St. Cloud visits Mason City for the first time on Friday, December 3 as part of a home-and-home weekend between the Bulls and Norsemen.
The home schedule for 2021 ends with a rare out-of-division opponent on December 10 and 11, as the Springfield Jr. Blues visit Mason City. Excluding the NAHL Showcase, only four teams in the league will play out-of-division games this season, with the Bulls making their return trip to Illinois on February 25 and 26.
The Bulls will get the earliest possible start to their 2022 home schedule, hosting the Austin Bruins on Saturday, January 1. After playing three games in a row at home, the home slate gets a bit more sparse, with just two home games between mid-January and mid-February. However, the schedule at the end of the season will more than make up for that gap, with eight of the Bulls’ final 10 games slated for home ice. A home contest on Friday, April 15 against St. Cloud closes out the Bulls’ home schedule for 2021-22, with the Robertson Cup playoffs set to start the following week.
North Iowa Bulls season tickets are still on sale for the 2021-22 campaign – several perks are available for season ticket holders, including a 10-percent discount on all purchases at Brutus’s Locker Room Sponsored by Christie Door Company, pregame Happy Hour specials at all Friday home games, the Bulls’ “No Ticket Left Behind” program that allows season ticket holders to exchange any unused season ticket for a single-game ticket, and more.
For more information, or to purchase season tickets, call 641-423-4625 or visit www.northiowabulls.com – fans can also keep up with the latest Bulls content online by following the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.