THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
FRIDAY – Granite City @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY – Granite City @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
BULLS vs. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 34-25-5
THIS WEEK’S PROMOTIONS: This weekend marks the Bulls’ final jersey auction at the “Barn” against the Granite City Lumberjacks – the team will wear special jerseys both nights, with a jersey auction after Saturday’s game to benefit the American Cancer Society. Three kid-sized jerseys will also be auctioned off to benefit Stomping Out Childhood Cancer. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here..
A GRAND BUNCH FROM GRANITE CITY: Just like their hosts, Granite City enters the weekend on a five-game winning streak, but that run nearly came to an end on Friday night. Troy Dahlheimer scored the game’s only goal on Friday night with 14 seconds left in overtime to steal a 1-0 win against Willmar – after 49 unsuccessful shots against Lukas Haugen, the 50th time was finally the charm for the ‘Jacks. That close call merely lit a fire under Brad Willner’s team, putting an 8-1 win on the board the next night against Breezy Point. Both the Bulls and ‘Jacks entered their September series in Sauk Rapids with a 4-0 record, with the teams splitting the weekend.
WE NEEDED THAT: North Iowa’s surge on the power play last weekend was merely a “market correction” on the special teams for the Bulls, after coming up empty on 13 of their last 14 power play chances. The 6-for-9 line with the man-advantage rocketed the Bulls from a middling 28.1-percent rate going into last weekend, to 34.8 percent and the upper quadrant of the league’s special-teams leaderboard.
WAHLIN WALLOPS WILLMAR, BRUISES BREEZY POINT: Yet again, the West Division’s Star of the Week award has come back to North Iowa, and yet again it is a new player who has won the award this week. Lucas Wahlin snagged the Star of the Week after an incredible showing in that road trip to Breezy Point and Willmar. The Woodbury, Minnesota native rolled up seven points this past weekend, including three goals and a pair of assists against the WarHawks in Saturday’s game. Wahlin also notched a goal and an assist in Friday’s victory over Breezy Point. He is the fifth Bulls player this season to be chosen the West Division Star of the Week.
GOLDEN GOALS: With four of the top six goaltenders in the league on tap for this weekend and four huge points on the line, every goal will matter. With goals-against averages of 1.50 and 1.66, Nate Johnston and Bailey Huber are third and fourth in the league in that department. North Iowa’s Evan Babekuhl and Dysen Skinner are right behind at 1.67 and 1.70. Both teams rank among the league’s top four in terms of defense, and both teams allow less than 25 shots a night. In fact, the teams have combined to be out-shot in just two games this year, with wins in both.