December 4, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Multipurpose Arena – Mason City, Iowa
CARSHIELD U18 (14-5-0-0 – NAPHL)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS (11-3-0-0)
LIVE STATS: None
BULLS vs. CARSHIELD U18 ALL-TIME: First meeting
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS: Christmas specials on North Iowa Bulls merchandise are available throughout tonight’s game, and by appointment during regular business hours, at Brutus’s Locker Room Sponsored by Christie Door Company. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
NEUTRAL: Thanks to the latest COVID-related decree from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, play in the West Division has ground to a virtual halt, with North Iowa caught in the middle. Only college and pro sports teams are allowed to continue playing through December 18, meaning Minnesota-based teams are not even allowed to practice within the state during this period. Last week’s road game and this weekend’s home games against Granite City have all been postponed, with rescheduling plans to be announced after Minnesota teams are allowed back on the ice.
OVERDRIVE: Neither team has had trouble staying busy this season, with North Iowa icing a team in a West Division-best 14 games so far this year. Granite City has a better winning percentage, but has only played seven games thus far. Carshield’s group has played 19 games in North American Prospects Hockey League competition, including showcases in Minnesota, Missouri and Pennsylvania. Their only loss at their most recent competition, the NAPHL’s November Showcase in Pittsburgh, came in the finale against a highly-touted Meijer 18-and-under group.
TOP OF THE LINE: Carshield has built itself a solid reputation across the Midwest, and its alumni list is a noteworthy one. 10 former Carshield U18 players are now on NCAA rosters, including forward Jared Westcott who won a United States Hockey League Clark Cup with Sioux Falls before rostering at Penn State. Goaltender Matthew Smith is poised to add to that list, signing a North American Hockey League tender last week with the Springfield Jr. Blues. Nine others have found themselves on NA3HL rosters this season, with seven of those players suiting up for the St. Louis Jr. Blues.
BEST IN CLASS: North Iowa defenseman Caleb Huffman had quite the under-the-radar performance against New Ulm in the Bulls’ most recent outing, but his body of work for the weekend was plenty to earn the latest Bauer Hockey West Division Star of the Week award from the North American Tier 3 Hockey League. Huffman scored a goal and an assist in a 7-2 victory against the Steel to open the weekend, followed by a trio of assists in a 7-1 triumph the following night. His five points for the weekend tied Jack Campion and Max Savaloja for the team high, and moved him into second place in scoring among Bulls blueliners. His award was the team’s fourth of the year, following awards for Garrett Freeman, Brayden Uttech and Sota Isogai.
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