Bulls Make History With 1-0 Win Over Mudbugs

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BLAINE, Minn. – After more than 11 years on the ice, the list of “never-been-done” accomplishments for the North Iowa Bulls has gotten fairly short.

Every once in a while, though, the Bulls still make history and do something new.

North Iowa unlocked a pair of new achievements on Thursday at the North American Hockey League Showcase, picking up the first 1-0 win in franchise history to knock off the South Division’s Shreveport Mudbugs. It’s also the first time ever that the Bulls have opened the season with back-to-back shutout wins, and the first time since January 3-4, 2020 that North Iowa has posted shutouts in back-to-back games.

The Mudbugs kept the pressure on in the opening period, out-shooting North Iowa 7-5 over the opening 20 minutes. The only power play of the period – a two-minute advantage following an interference call against Shreveport’s Matthew Danziger – went uncapitalized.

Finally, at 9:03 of the second period, the Bulls struck – Cayden Casey (Elk River, Minn./Andover H.S.) got his stick into a rinkwide passing lane, jousting the puck out to neutral ice where Logan Dombrowsky (Stevens Point, Wis./North Iowa Bulls) gathered it up for a 2-on-0, and Eli Miller’s (Dundas, Minn./Lakeville South H.S.) extra pass came back to Dombrowsky at the post for a tap-in and the 1-0 advantage.

“It was a really good defensive play by Cayden. He got a good stick on their puck, and we got behind their [defense],” said Dombrowsky. “In transition, I hit Eli on the back door, and he slid it right back to me.”

Both teams got close again and again, with the Mudbugs coming away with a 27-21 shots-on-goal advantage. Mitchell Day (St. Louis, Mo./St. Louis Blues AAA) turned away all 27 Mudbug chances to earn the shutout victory in his first game in the NAHL. Tommy Aitken was almost as good, turning away 20 of the Bulls’ 21 shots. The penalty-killing groups were perfect in the game, with each team wiping away the other’s three power plays.

“It gives confidence to us (goalies) to have really good guys in front of us that are structurally sound and getting the job done there,” said Day. “I’m pretty confident, and happy. I’m excited to play, and to be around the boys.”

North Iowa heads into the third day of the NAHL Showcase at 2-0, while the Mudbugs dropped to 1-1 with the loss. The Bulls continue at the NAHL Showcase on Friday with a matchup against another South Division team, the Odessa Jackalopes, at 7:30 p.m. Live streaming coverage is available on HockeyTV Presented by Dakota Fix Shelter Insurance and NorthIowaBulls.com.

Updated news and information are always available at www.northiowabulls.com, and by following the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 

North Iowa 0 1 0 – 1
Shreveport 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Danziger Shv (interference-minor), 14:53.

2nd Period-1, North Iowa, Dombrowsky 1 (Miller, Casey), 9:03. Penalties-Scott Nio (tripping-minor), 9:03; Stacey Nio (interference-minor), 15:40.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Valkama Shv (boarding-minor), 0:18; Stacey Nio (slashing-minor), 8:02; Austin Shv (holding-minor), 15:14.

Shots on Goal-North Iowa 5-7-9-21. Shreveport 7-9-11-27.
Power Play Opportunities-North Iowa 0 / 3; Shreveport 0 / 3.
Goalies-North Iowa, Day 1-0-0-0 (27 shots-27 saves). Shreveport, Aitken 1-1-0-0 (21 shots-20 saves).
A-301
Referees-Dylan Freed, Austin O’Rourke.
Linesmen-Matthew Heinen, Davids Rozitis.