WEDNESDAY – Shattuck-St. Mary’s @ North Iowa, 7:00 p.m.
BULLS VS. SHATTUCK-ST. MARY’S ALL-TIME: 2-6-0
TONIGHT’S PROMOTION: North Iowa returns to the “Barn” tonight for a Faith and Family Night exhibition game, with a pregame message and live music during intermission. Church groups of 10 or more will also receive discounted admission. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER: Both the Bulls and their visitors are well-versed in the art of the championship – the 2013-14 Bulls squad knocked off the Sabres’ most recent under-18 national championship squad, the ninth in the history of Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep hockey. The Bulls’ most recent national title came in 2016, winning three in their first four years as a franchise.
HIGH STAKES: North Iowa has only two wins in its eight-game exhibition series against the Sabres, but those wins have been a harbinger of good things to come. The Bulls knocked off Shattuck-St. Mary’s 6-5 in their first home meeting in November 2013, adding to an incredible 57-5 season. They also won 50 games in 2015-16, not including a 5-3 victory in Mason City. Both of those seasons saw the Silver (now Fraser) Cup come home to North Iowa at year’s end.
THEIR HISTORY ISN’T A MYSTERY: Shattuck-St. Mary’s is one of America’s most storied prep hockey programs, with 73 alumni (graduates and former players) landing in the National Hockey League draft since Peter Ratchuk was selected by Colorado in the first round of the 1996 draft. 13 of those players were selected in the first round, including top overall picks Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh, 2005) and Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado, 2013). 19 Shattuck-St. Mary’s alumni are currently on NHL rosters.
FAMILY TIES: Not surprisingly, several players on this year’s Shattuck-St. Mary’s team have family members who made their own marks in professional hockey. The most prominent family members are likely 20-year NHL veteran Rob Blake (currently the Los Angeles Kings’ general manager and vice-president of hockey operations) or famed player agent Patrice Brisson, both of whom have sons on this year’s team.
COMMITTED TO THEIR CRAFT: Five players on the Sabres’ roster have been claimed by United States Hockey League teams in its Phase I draft, and two players made their USHL debuts earlier this year. Four Shattuck-St. Mary’s players have already made Division I commitments, including two to the University of Michigan.