MASON CITY, Iowa – Tyler Bump (Prior Lake, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) wasn’t about to rush his opportunities or force any shots Saturday night against the Wausau RiverWolves, but why wait to score goals late in the period when you can do it early and get it out of the way?
Bump tallied a hat trick Saturday night, with all three goals coming in the opening minute of the second and third periods, and the Bulls rolled to a 10-1 win over the RiverWolves to win their last Saturday home game before the Christmas break. The Bulls racked up 53 shots in the game, still the fewest of any of the four games they’ve played against Wausau since Thanksgiving.
“We talked about getting quality shot chances,” said head coach Todd Sanden. “Again tonight, we got shots from good areas and we were fortunate enough to find the back of the net.”
North Iowa needed until the final few minutes of the first period on Friday, but needed just over three minutes for Jake Joyaux (Bloomingdale, Ill./North Iowa Bulls) to find Mitch Dolter (Faribault, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) for his first goal of the night. Joyaux himself scored on the power play with 5:36 remaining in the first, shoving the puck in the net in a crowd, just a split-second before the net gave way.
Bump made his move just 11 seconds out of the first intermission, with Connor Clemons‘s (Savage, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) pass leading Bump deep into the slot, where he was able to walk it in past Henry Baribeau. 15 seconds later, Bump scored again off of a pass from behind the net.
Dolter himself tossed one into the net at the 4:11 mark of the period on a similar play to make it a 5-0 game. The lead went to 6-0 heading to the second intermission on Matt Dahlseide‘s (Maplewood, Minn./Alexandria Blizzard) third goal of the weekend, a rebound tally less than eight minutes out of the break.
37 seconds into the third, Bump made it a triple on a nifty dangle in front of the net, and the lead went to 7-0. After giving up just one goal in four of his last five appearances, Colin Cain (Hummelstown, Pa./N.J. Junior Titans U18) was beaten on a rush up the right wing, as Janne Rukamp ripped one in from the faceoff circle to break up the shutout bid.
Joyaux responded barely a minute later at the 7:50 mark, though, with one of the oddest goals of the season, an 80-foot toss from the top of the center-ice faceoff circle that crossed up relief goaltender Spencer Gill and lit the red lamp behind the net for an 8-1 lead. Josh Arnold (Roseville, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) piled one on with a goal at 8:44 of the period, and Brendan Studioso (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) put an exclamation point on the game with a wraparound tally 1:10 before the final horn.
“We got scoring from three lines,” said Sanden, “and with a defenseman (Joyaux) getting a couple of goals tonight, when you’re getting scoring from all over your lineup like that, it’s got to be tough for opposing teams to come in here.”
Cain finished with 16 saves on 17 shots, while Baribeau and Gill split time in the Wausau net. Baribeau took the loss, making 16 saves on 22 North Iowa shots before being pulled after Dahlseide’s goal in the second period.
Bump finished the night with a game-high four points, including an assist on Joyaux’s power-play goal in the first period. Each team had a pair of chances on the man-advantage, but only the Bulls were able to capitalize on one of those chances.
North Iowa is 19-0-2-1 after the win, and has won nine of 10 at home this season. The Bulls return to “The Barn” on Friday night for a pre-Christmas home finale against the Rochester Ice Hawks, and “Teddy Bear Toss” Night at the North Iowa Ice Arena. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV. For advance tickets to Friday’s game or any future Bulls home game, click here.