MASON CITY, Iowa – Black Friday is all about the bargains. Friday night at the North Iowa Ice Arena, the Alexandria Blizzard got more than they bargained for from the North Iowa Bulls, with Cam Fagerlee (St. Anthony, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) putting the home team in front just 72 seconds into a 5-0 win. North Iowa has now won 10 in a row overall, and 15 straight regular-season home games.
Every time North Iowa kicked open the door at one end of the ice, though, Dysen Skinner (Billings, Mont./Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede U18) slammed it at the other end. Skinner wrapped up the night with his first junior shutout, and ran his record to 5-2-0-0, racking up 37 saves.
“This could have been a completely different story,” said head coach Todd Sanden. “The shots were absolutely even, and we got a couple of bounces that they didn’t get. We feel very fortunate to come out of that game with a victory.”
Scott Moyer (Stillwater, Minn./Hill-Murray H.S.) put one on the doorstep at the end of his first shift of the evening, with Fagerlee tapping it in past Ville Hyttinen to make it a 1-0 game just 1:12 off of the opening puck drop.
The Bulls made a couple of statements in the second period, one at the beginning of the period and one at the end. Peter Verstegen (Oshkosh, Wis./North Iowa Bulls) lifted one past Hyttinen just 1:02 out of the locker room to make it a 2-0 game.
The statement at the end of the period came with just 2.5 seconds showing on the clock, with North Iowa taking a flurry of shots at the Alexandria net. Brendan Studioso’s (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) chance was blocked by Hyttinen, but Jarod Blackowiak (Eden Prairie, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) was there to elevate the rebound and light the lamp, sending North Iowa to the locker room up 3-0.
“It doesn’t matter which side you’re on, that hits you,” said Sanden. “It’s a downer when you get scored on like that, and when you do get that goal, you go into the locker room and it’s just bananas.”
The Bulls added onto the lead during a heated third period, with Fagerlee hitting Matt Dahlseide (Maplewood, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) with a feed from below the goal line and setting up Dahlseide’s goal at 7:04 of the period to make it 4-0.
With Carter Rieland and Evan Junker (Elk River, Minn./Elk River H.S.) already in the box after a skirmish behind the North Iowa net, Brett Meister drew his own penalty in a collision with Skinner in that same net just a moment later. The Bulls took advantage, with Jordan Roo (Champlin, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s H.S.) burying a wrist shot from low in the left-wing faceoff circle with 4:33 to go, closing out the scoring for the night.
“They got physical and were throwing everything on net (in the third period),” said Skinner. “The crowd got into it and that makes it fun, and makes it easy for me.”
Studioso’s assist in the second period ran his point streak to a dozen games, while Verstegen lifted his run to 10 games, Fagerlee to nine games, and Dahlseide to eight games. The Bulls finished the night with a perfect 3-for-3 record on the power play, while killing off Alexandria’s only chance with the extra man. Hyttinen took the loss for the Blizzard, stopping 33 of North Iowa’s 38 shots to fall to 1-3-0-0 for the season.
The Bulls return to the North Iowa Ice Arena next Friday and Saturday night to take on the Rochester Grizzlies, who currently sit in third place in the NA3HL West Division. Both games are set for 7:30 p.m. start times, with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV. Saturday’s game will also be audio-streamed on Mixlr.
Friday’s game will be a SPEC-tacular Night featuring Dr. Korthals and Associates, with free team posters, and $2 admission discounts with an eyeglass donation at the door. Saturday will feature the Bulls’ annual Teddy Bear Toss. For advance tickets to those games or any future Bulls home game, click here.
Alexandria 0 0 0 – 0
North Iowa 1 2 2 – 5
1st Period-1, North Iowa, Fagerlee 10 (Moyer, Dahlseide), 1:12. Penalties-Lehmann Alx (slashing-minor), 19:28.
2nd Period-2, North Iowa, Verstegen 17 (Dahlseide, Fagerlee), 1:02 (PP). 3, North Iowa, Blackowiak 14 (Studioso, McDermott), 19:58. Penalties-Thompson Alx (unsportsmanlike conduct – 10 minute), 20:00.
3rd Period-4, North Iowa, Dahlseide 11 (Fagerlee, Verstegen), 7:04 (PP). 5, North Iowa, Roo 4 (Stewart, Moyer), 15:27 (PP). Penalties-Sanborn Alx (slashing-minor), 6:17; Ropka Alx (unsportsmanlike conduct – 10 minute), 7:04; Rieland Alx (roughing-minor), 13:36; Junker Nio (roughing-minor), 13:36; Meister Alx (interference-minor), 14:45; Studioso Nio (boarding-minor), 18:50.
Shots on Goal-Alexandria 15-9-13-37. North Iowa 12-13-13-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Alexandria 0 / 1; North Iowa 3 / 3.
Goalies-Alexandria, Hyttinen 1-3-0-1 (38 shots-33 saves). North Iowa, Skinner 5-2-0-0 (37 shots-37 saves).
Linesmen-Tony Aronson, Nick Klinkhammer.