THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
SATURDAY – North Iowa @ St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.
SUNDAY – North Iowa @ St. Louis, 1:00 p.m
NORTH IOWA BULLS, 9-1-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ ST. LOUIS JR. BLUES, 11-2-0-1 (ROSTER, STATS)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$), Mixlr (audio/free, Sunday only)
BULLS vs. ST. LOUIS ALL-TIME: 17-7-2
NEXT HOME GAME: The Bulls return to Mason City on Saturday, October 26 to face the New Ulm Steel on “Hat Tricks and Treats” Night. The team will share treats with the crowd after every goal, and a few hats if any Bulls player scores a hat trick in the game. Kids will be invited to take part in a costume contest, and a Jack o’ Lantern contest will also be held. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
HAMMER IT HOME: The Bulls’ offense has been red-hot over its four-game winning streak – North Iowa’s offensive mark is up to 6.5 goals per game, far and away the highest mark in the league. Only one North Iowa team – the 2013-14 Silver Cup championship squad – finished a season with more than 6.5 goals per game. That team won 57 games and finished as the second-best Tier III team in the nation, behind a Boston Jr. Bruins team with 16 eventual NCAA Division I players.
STARS OF THE SHOW: One week after Cam Fagerlee gathered up his first Bauer Hockey NA3HL West Division Star of the Week award, Sota Isogai garnered the top honors this week. Isogai’s hat trick was the headline achievement last week, but the Nagano, Japan native totaled four goals and three assists on the weekend to land the hardware. It’s the third time (after Fagerlee and Mason Enright) this year that a Bulls player has been chosen as a Star of the Week. St. Louis’s Joey Boccardi was chosen as the Central Division Star of the Week as well, tallying five points last weekend against Wausau, including three points Saturday.
STINGY STRONGHOLDS: The offense for the Bulls has certainly gotten its share of the clicks and eyeballs, but the defensive units in this weekend’s series may be what truly generate the headlines. North Iowa whittled its defensive average to just two goals a game with its stout defensive efforts against the North Stars. The Jr. Blues’ scoring defense is also in the league’s top five, and the defense has allowed fewer than 29 shots a night (eighth in the league).
EVEN STEVEN: North Iowa has had the upper hand in recent games at the “Barn,” but games in St. Louis’s rink have been anything but a slam-dunk for either side of late. The Jr. Blues have won five of the last eight meetings in Affton, splitting last year’s action with a win apiece. Seven of the last eight meetings on the Jr. Blues’ home ice have been one- or two-goal games, with both of the 2017-18 contests in this building going to overtime or a shootout. In fact, with the exception of that incredible 2013-14 season, no Bulls game in St. Louis has been decided by more than three goals.