PEORIA, Ill. – Saturday night’s game against the Peoria Mustangs and Sunday afternoon’s contest at the Owens Center were like night and day for the Bulls. In Saturday night’s 6-0 loss, North Iowa gave up three goals in the first nine-plus minutes, with one of the tallies coming on the power play.
Sunday, it was like looking in a mirror – goals inside of the two-minute mark and the four-minute mark, and another one a little more than nine minutes after the puck drop put North Iowa in the driver’s seat on the way to a 6-1 win.
A tripping penalty to Peoria’s Tristan Trudel set the Bulls up nicely for their first goal, 1:22 into the contest, on a one-timer from Matt Dahlseide (Maplewood, Minn./North Iowa Bulls). Barely two minutes later, Brendan Studioso’s (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) shot on Mustangs netminder Trevor Smith was kicked right out to Jack Giddings (Anoka, Minn./Anoka H.S.), for a rebound tally deep in the slot and a 2-0 lead.
Just past the nine-minute mark of the period, the Bulls struck again on another long rebound chance, this time on a 4-on-4 chance off the stick of Peter Verstegen (Oshkosh, Wis./North Iowa Bulls). The initial try from Dahlseide found Verstegen out front and in the right place to put it away for a three-goal lead.
Special teams made their presence known for Peoria after a penalty to Walter Brandt (Richfield, Minn./Edina Jr. Gold) at 12:22 of the first period. On a delayed cross-checking penalty to Justin Ohnstad (New Brighton, Minn./Palm Beach Hawks), Jared Wisely put the Mustangs on the board with just over six minutes remaining in the first period. Wisely held the puck a split-second extra before ripping it top-shelf over the shoulder of Connor Poczos (Austin, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) to trim the lead to two goals.
The Bulls took their 3-1 lead and doubled it again over the next 40 minutes, starting with Cameron Fagerlee’s (St. Anthony, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) goal at 12:22 of the second period. Before the Mustangs could get out of the second period, Jimmy McDermott (Dubuque, Iowa/Wisconsin Whalers) made his debut in the scoring column for North Iowa, sliding one in underneath Smith to make it a 5-1 game.
The Bulls took advantage of another Peoria penalty in the third period, this time a tripping minor to Jaycob Bland. After a 4-on-4 goal earlier in the game, Verstegen capped off the scoring right off of another faceoff with under six minutes remaining.
Poczos picked up his first regular-season win for North Iowa, turning in a gem with 22 saves on 23 chances. After pitching a shutout the previous night, Smith took his third loss of the year with 29 saves on 35 North Iowa shots.
The Bulls wrapped up the day at 2-for-3 on the power play, after coming up empty on three chances the previous night. Peoria finished with a 1-for-4 mark on the man-advantage thanks to Wisely’s first-period goal.
The Bulls are in the midst of a five-game road swing before the start of the home season September 29. Friday and Saturday, North Iowa travels on the road to face the Breezy Point North Stars and New Ulm Steel. Live streaming coverage of all Bulls games, home and away, is available on HockeyTV. For advance tickets to the Bulls’ home opener or any future home game, click here.
North Iowa 3 2 1 – 6
Peoria 1 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, North Iowa, Dahlseide 1 (Junker), 1:22 (PP). 2, North Iowa, Giddings 1 (Studioso, McDermott), 3:11. 3, North Iowa, Verstegen 1 (Dahlseide, Junker), 8:54. 4, Peoria, Wisely 2 (Radley), 13:54 (PP). Penalties-Trudel Peo (tripping-minor), 0:52; Curran Nio (roughing-minor), 5:44; Bauer Peo (roughing-minor), 5:44; Bland Peo (slashing-minor), 7:39; Studioso Nio (slashing-minor), 8:50; Brandt Nio (tripping-minor), 12:11; Ohnstad Nio (cross checking-minor), 13:54; Studioso Nio (roughing-minor), 19:57; Trudel Peo (roughing-minor, unsportsmanlike conduct-10 minute misconduct), 19:57.
2nd Period-5, North Iowa, Fagerlee 1 (Callahan, Verstegen), 12:22. 6, North Iowa, McDermott 1 (Junker), 19:14. Penalties-Brandt Nio (roughing-minor, spearing-gm), 7:32; Bauer Peo (roughing-minor, unsportsmanlike conduct-10 minute misconduct), 7:32.
3rd Period-7, North Iowa, Verstegen 2 (Dahlseide), 14:17 (PP). Penalties-Bland Peo (tripping-minor), 12:36; Bowlin Nio (cross checking-minor), 18:42.
Shots on Goal-North Iowa 14-10-11-35. Peoria 15-6-2-23.
Power Play Opportunities-North Iowa 2 / 0; Peoria 1 / 0.
Goalies-North Iowa, Poczos 1-0-0-0 (23 shots-22 saves). Peoria, Smith 1-3-0-0 (34 shots-29 saves); Gardner 0-0-0-0 (1 shots-0 saves).
Linesmen-Shane Gustafson, Richard Faron.