MASON CITY, Iowa – Matt Dahlseide (Maplewood, Minn./Alexandria Blizzard) added a significant scoring punch to the North Iowa Bulls’ lineup when head coach Todd Sanden traded for him this past week. Dahlseide proved just what kind of scoring punch he can add with two goals in his Bulls debut Friday night as North Iowa thrashed the Wausau RiverWolves, 11-1. Connor Clemons (Prior Lake, Minn./Minnesota Magicians) upstaged his new cohort on his first home outing in the “Barn,” with a hat trick of his own and a pair of assists..
It took a while for the Bulls to break the seal on Wausau’s goal, but once they broke through, the chances came in bunches. North Iowa finally got one on Clemons’s first goal with just 2:44 remaining in the first period, just as Owen Routheut was set to come out of the box at the end of his slashing minor.
Peter Verstegen (Oshkosh, Wis./Oshkosh H.S.) doubled the lead just 49 seconds later, sending North Iowa to the intermission with a 2-0 lead. Dahlseide came up with his first point as a Bull on that tally, earning the first assist in front of Dan Sandvig (Burnsville, Minn./Burnsville H.S.)
Verstegen scored again 44 seconds into the second period, and Brendan Studioso (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) put one away for a 4-0 lead just 2:20 out of the break.
After the midway point of the game came another scoring flurry – Tyler Bump (Prior Lake, Minn./North Iowa Bulls), Wausau’s Tristan Slot and Mitch Dolter (Faribault, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) all traded goals in less than a minute-and-a-half to push the score to 6-1 going to the final period.
The North Iowa offensive machine hit perhaps its most consistent stride in the third period. The five-goal run in the final 20 minutes began with Clemons’s second goal just under four minutes in, tipping one in off of an initial shot from Shane Bernhardson (Apple Valley, Minn./North Iowa Bulls).
Clemons and Cameron Fagerlee (St. Anthony, Minn./Totino-Grace H.S.) both put power-play goals on the board in the first six minutes of the third, racking the lead up to 8-1. Dahlseide’s first goal with the Bulls came at the 7:20 mark, on a tough-angle shot. Clemons finished off his hat trick by adding on just over a minute later. Dahlseide’s strike with just under nine minutes left pushed the lead to double-digits and finished off the scoring for the night.
“It’s great (being a member of the Bulls),” said Dahlseide. “North Iowa is a great team, and there are a lot of skill guys on the team. It’s definitely an upgrade for me coming from Alexandria, and I’m excited to see where things go.”
After going up against North Iowa in both games last week, Henry Baribeau got the call again, but headed to the bench following Dolter’s goal in the second period. Spencer Gill came on in relief but would head to the bench with 1:32 to go, leading to Baribeau’s return to the net. He would stop all of the Bulls’ final three shots, finishing with 24 saves on 30 North Iowa chances. Drew Scites (Plymouth, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) needed just nine saves to wrap up his seventh straight win. The RiverWolves managed just a single shot in the opening 20 minutes of the contest.
Special teams were especially friendly to the home squad Friday night, with the Bulls grabbing three goals in their six power-play chances. Wausau had five man-advantages in the game, but was not able to capitalize for a goal with the extra man.
North Iowa returns to the ice Saturday against the RiverWolves for the Bulls’ last Saturday home game prior to the Christmas break. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., with live streaming on HockeyTV and free audio streaming on Mixlr.
A postgame Skate With the Bulls is on the docket, plus the Bulls will wear special jerseys honoring the National Wild Turkey Federation for Saturday’s game. The jerseys will be auctioned off following the game to benefit the Worth County Full Strut chapter of the NWTF. For advance tickets to Saturday’s game or any future home game, click here.