La CROSSE, Wis. – After opening with a lackluster 40 minutes on Saturday night against the La Crosse Freeze, North Iowa needed to set a better tone early in Sunday’s road trip to Wisconsin. A 15-8 edge in the first-period shot count certainly didn’t hurt, and the Bulls started a brand-new winning streak with a 4-1 victory. With the win, the Bulls extended their unbeaten run against the Freeze to 14 games.
Todd Sanden’s bunch led nearly wire-to-wire, thanks to Marshall Tschida (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.) making his presence known early in the game. Tschida ripped a shot from the left edge of the high slot that beat Connor Klaers for the opening goal just 1:40 into the game, and then Connor Clemons (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) doubled the lead just past the midway point of the period by tipping one in after a stretch pass led Marshall Barnes (Edina, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) into the Freeze zone to start the rush.
La Crosse had an answer, though, at the 6:16 mark of the second period, thanks in part to a roughing minor for Josh Arnold (Roseville, Minn./Bismarck Bobcats) just 13 seconds prior – Sam Dabrowski’s point shot from the right side beat Brady Meyers (Rochester, Minn./John Marshall H.S.) to cut the lead to 2-1.
Barnes got the insurance goal right back just seven minutes later, though, thanks in part to a roughing minor from Zach Lanz at 12:04 of the second period – the Bulls veteran came off the bench on a change and took a short feed from Steven Mordini (Baraboo, Wis./Team Wisconsin), before walking the puck through the right faceoff circle and zapping it into the back of the net for the Bulls’ first power-play goal in the team’s last 17 chances. Barnes would add a second goal with just three seconds left in the game on a long throw from the left-wing boards into an empty net.
Meyers came just one special-teams goal short of pitching another shutout, moving his record to 7-2-0 with the win and stopping 27 of La Crosse’s 28 shots. Klaers has yet to earn his first win in a Freeze uniform, stopping 35 of the 38 shots he faced. Clemons added an assist in addition to his first-period goal, a tally that eventually stood up as the game-winner.
The Bulls will head back to the home ice on Friday night, Dec. 2 in their first contest against the newly-christened New Ulm Steel, on “A Night of Giving” at the North Iowa Ice Arena. The highlight of the night’s promotions will be the annual Teddy Bear Toss after North Iowa scores its first goal of the game. The opening faceoff inside “The Barn” is slated for 7:30 p.m. For more details on Friday’s promotions, click here. All Bulls games, home and away, are streamed live on HockeyTV, and all Bulls home games plus select road games are audio-streamed live on Mixlr.