September 18, 2021 – 6:00 p.m.
National Sports Center Super Rink – Blaine, MN
KENAI RIVER BROWN BEARS (1-4-0-0)
vs. NORTH IOWA BULLS (2-1-0-0)
ATTENDING THE GAME: MAP TO ARENA
LIVE STATS: CLICK HERE
BULLS vs. KENAI RIVER ALL-TIME: 0-0-0
THE HUNTED: The Bulls’ opponent in this one is a Brown Bears team still looking for some traction as the season gets going. After suffering a sweep at the hands of the Chippewa Steel, Kenai River has taken losses in two of its three games at the NAHL Showcase. The Brown Bears gutted out a 2-1 win on Thursday over the Johnstown Tomahawks, but were forced to battle back in a 3-2 loss on Friday to the Maine Nordiques. Reese Farrell had two goals and an assist for Maine in the win, gaining control of the game with a power play goal just 1:40 into the second period.
MOVIN’ ON UP: This opponent is one of several that North Iowa could face this season with a player from last season’s national championship-winning group on the roster. The Bulls took down Amarillo, and former Bulls Max Gutjahr and Jase Sofo yesterday, and face former defenseman Caleb Huffman in this game. Also due up for North Iowa is a December weekend with the Springfield Jr. Blues, whose roster includes top 2020-21 scorer Carson Jones – both Jones and Huffman tendered with their respective teams prior to the Bulls’ announced move to the NAHL. The Minot Minotauros roster also has a former Bull: defenseman Noah Roitman, who spent 2019-20 with North Iowa and also opened 2020-21 on the Bulls roster. He was taken by the Minotauros in the NAHL Entry Draft this past summer.
A MILESTONE SEASON: Kenai River is one of only a few teams on North Iowa’s schedule this year that existed during North Iowa’s last NAHL season in 2009-10 – the Brown Bears are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, but dropped all four of their meetings with the former North Iowa Outlaws in 2007 and 2009.
SHOW OFF YOUR POWER: North Iowa’s 4-for-15 mark on the power play is not a number that will jump off the page by itself, but the Bulls used a huge outing on Friday evening to help get them there – their 3-for-5 finish is the team’s first three-goal power play outing since scoring thrice on the man-advantage in the Fraser Cup tourney against the Northeast Generals this past April. That game ended with an 8-1 North Iowa win and sealed the top spot in their Fraser Cup pool.
NEXT MAN IN: The Bulls lost seven of their top nine scorers from last year’s Amarillo team, but that has hardly slowed this group down – of the seven North Iowa players who have scored more than a point so far at the NAHL Showcase, only Michael Mesic did not play for Amarillo last season. With four points, leading scorer Logan Dombrowsky is already approaching his total of five points from last year, which he achieved in 29 games.