March 11, 2021 – 7:30 p.m. (Mason City Arena – Mason City, IA)
March 12, 2022 – 7:05 p.m. (Riverside Arena – Austin, MN)
AUSTIN BRUINS (23-21-2-3)
vs. NORTH IOWA BULLS (21-21-2-4)
ROSTER: NORTH IOWA | AUSTIN
STATISTICS: NORTH IOWA | AUSTIN
ATTENDING THE GAME: MAP TO MASON CITY ARENA | MAP TO RIVERSIDE ARENA | FRIDAY TICKETS | SEATING CHART
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free)
BULLS vs. AUSTIN ALL-TIME: 5-4-1
NORTH IOWA MEDIA NOTES: FRIDAY | SATURDAY
IN A NUTSHELL:
North Iowa welcomes the Austin Bruins back to town as both teams look to right the ship and build momentum going into the season’s home-stretch.
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS:
The Bulls welcome the Austin Bruins to the River City Friday night to begin the home stretch with “Reading Stampede” night, including a book exchange at the game and a raffle for a Dr. Seuss collection.
THE LAY OF THE LAND:
St. Cloud’s 13-game winning streak may be over, but the Norsemen have built a steady lead at the top of the Central Division standings, seven points ahead of an Aberdeen team that has garnered points in three of its last four games and has two games in hand on Minot. The Bruins currently sit in fourth, hunting for their first win since February 4 at North Iowa and just three points ahead of the Bulls, who could earn their first home win since January 1. Bismarck’s seven-game winning streak – the second-longest active run in the league – has put them within a point of the Bulls and just six points off of the division’s final playoff spot.
As the NCAA Division III tournament gets underway this weekend, the Bulls are celebrating four alumni who will be playing in the field of 12 over the next couple of weeks. St. Olaf College earned its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title since 2006, sending Mitch Dolter and Colin Cain to a first-round matchup against St. Norbert College this weekend. The winner will face Augsburg University, who earned an at-large bid and a bye into next weekend’s quarterfinals. Sophomore Konnor Carlson and senior Jarod Blackowiak are both members of the Auggies roster, with Blackowiak posting 24 points this year. Jimmy McDermott will not get to play in an NCAA tournament, but is a conference champion after helping Assumption University in Massachusetts win its second-ever Northeast 10 title last weekend at the NCAA Division II level.
FEELING RIGHT AT HOME:
North Iowa begins its traditionally backloaded home schedule tonight – nine of the final 12 regular-season games will be played in Mason City, including eight of the last 10. All of the three remaining road games will be played as part of home-and-home series, after the Bulls went 8-10 on their nine overnight road trips this season. Last year was a reversal of the typical schedule, with the Bulls finishing their regular season on the road for seven of their final 10 contests.
AS EVEN AS IT GETS:
This weekend will end the first-ever regular-season series between a pair of neighbors and rivals, and the first-ever series could very well end in a draw. Each team has won five of the 10 meetings so far, with both teams dropping a shootout on home ice early in the season. The Bulls swept the weekend over the Veterans’ Day holiday, while the Bruins came back to take both ends of the Thanksgiving weekend home-and-home.