WEDNESDAY – North Iowa @ Waldorf University, 7:00 p.m.
NORTH IOWA BULLS, 4-0-0-0 (ROSTER, STATS)
@ WALDORF WARRIORS, 0-2-0-0 (ROSTER)
COVERAGE: Mixlr (audio/free)
BULLS vs. WALDORF ALL-TIME: 0-0-1 (exhibition game)
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa takes the ice on October 4 for its final home opener in the North Iowa Ice Arena, sponsored by Kabrick Distributing of Mason City. The last home-opening blowout at the “Barn” features a pregame tailgate party, a postgame skate, $2 draws and more. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
A FOND FAREWELL: While this game doesn’t factor into the storyline, the Bulls’ preseason era in Albert Lea may be coming to an end. Typically, the Bulls have traveled to Albert Lea for daily practices during the month of September while awaiting the installation of ice at the North Iowa Ice Arena. Details on the Bulls’ anticipated move downtown are still being finalized, but Mason City’s new arena is expected to feature ice at the beginning of the Bulls’ preseason.
THE HOMETOWN KID: Albert Lea High School senior Campbell Cichosz certainly made good on his North Iowa Bulls debut this past weekend, tallying a goal and an assist in the third period on Sunday. His assist came on Zach Simon’s goal with 5:30 to go, a tally that led to Peoria goalie Cole Walter’s exit from the contest. His goal came with 2:47 remaining, scoring on a drive from the edge of the slot that beat relief goaltender Jaden Gardner low on his glove side. Cichosz was the leading scorer for the Albert Lea Tigers last season as a junior defenseman, using 20 assists to bolster an eight-goal total.
BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY: North Iowa fans will find a familiar face on the Waldorf roster as the two teams meet up. Former Bull Sean Mallonee is starting his junior season for the Warriors this season after posting a tremendous sophomore campaign a year ago. Mallonee was named the NAIA Forward of the Year last season thanks to an 11-goal, 11-assist season. He has posted nearly a point-per-game pace in his time at Waldorf after parting ways with the Bulls at the start of the 2017-18 season, racking up 31 points in 35 appearances with Brett Shelanski’s team.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Waldorf’s season has only just begun, but the Warriors are looking for their first unofficial win of the season after starting 0-2 against the Iowa State Cyclones this past weekend. ISU routed the Warriors by a 6-0 count last Friday, but needed an extra 31 seconds to earn a 2-1 win on Saturday. Former Bull Sean Mallonee’s pass was tipped in by Kaden Hintz with 4:55 to go for the Warriors’ only goal of the weekend. Waldorf is starting its first season in Midwest Collegiate Hockey, after the five-team NAIHA folded at the end of the 2018-19 season.