BLAINE, Minn. – North Iowa went into Tuesday’s NA3HL Showcase finale against the Texas Brahmas with wins over four of the seven other division leaders in the league. A win over a fifth team, the Brahmas, would give the Bulls a sweep at the Showcase and avenge a loss in their only previous head-to-head meeting last season.
That mission was accomplished, with gusto, in a 6-0 win. The Bulls didn’t waste much time, getting a pair of goals from Matt Dahlseide (Maplewood, Minn./Alexandria Blizzard) in the opening stanza. His opening goal came on a nifty backdoor feed from Cam Fagerlee (St. Anthony, Minn./Totino-Grace H.S.) 7:09 into the game, just after the end of North Iowa’s first power play of the game.
Fagerlee also set up Connor Clemons (Savage, Minn./Minnesota Magicians) for a power-play tally at 12:47 of the first period, and with just 32 seconds left before the opening intermission, Fagerlee and Dahlseide connected again to make it 3-0 at the first intermission.
Josh Arnold (Roseville, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) notched another multi-goal game, the third in his last four outings. The Bulls got a lengthy 5-on-3 opportunity in the second period, thanks to an interference infraction on Texas’s Bennett Weycker and a head contact call against Jarrod Croswell.
That set up the first of Arnold’s goals at 7:16 of the second period, just three seconds before the end of Weycker’s two-minute sentence. The second-year Bulls forward would score his team-leading 25th goal of the season with 6:12 left in the contest.
Before Arnold’s second goal to cap the game, though, Peter Verstegen (Oshkosh, Wis./Oshkosh H.S.) got himself on the board at 7:33 of the third period. That goal made it a five-goal game, followed by Arnold’s late exclamation point.
Both teams got lots of chances to get some special-teams work in before the holidays – North Iowa connected on two of their 11 power-play chances in the game, while Texas came up empty on five power plays of their own.
Shots were hard to come by – the Brahmas got just 11 shots off over the 60-minute affair, as Colin Cain (Hummelstown, Pa./N.J. Junior Titans U18) and Drew Scites (Plymouth, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) combined on the team’s fourth shutout win of the season. North Iowa totaled 25 shots. The Bulls head into the Christmas break by taking over Texas’s spot at the top of the NA3HL’s defensive leaderboard.
The win pushes the Bulls’ point streak to 29 straight games without a loss in regulation. North Iowa is off until Dec. 30, when they host the Rochester Ice Hawks to begin their final home-and-home set against Rochester for the season. That game will be streamed live on HockeyTV, with free audio streaming on Mixlr.
That game also marks North Iowa’s “New Year’s Bash” to celebrate the last contest of 2017 in the North Iowa Ice Arena. For advance tickets to that game, or any other North Iowa Bulls home game, click here.