February 5, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Multipurpose Arena – Mason City, Iowa
GRANITE CITY LUMBERJACKS (9-5-0-0)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS (15-4-0-0)
LIVE STATS: CLICK HERE
BULLS vs. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 39-28-5
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa celebrates its annual “5 For Fighting” promotion with this evening’s game – $5 merchandise specials will be in effect in Brutus’s Locker Room Sponsored by Christie Door Company, and domestic canned beers are on sale for two for $5. Kids’ admission has also been discounted slightly to just $5. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
NEW YEAR, WHO DIS?: It seems 2020-21 has already brought lots of unneeded history to the sport, but Friday’s game is a true rarity for the Bulls and ‘Jacks. This matchup is the latest the teams have ever played their first meeting in Mason City, though not by as much as you’d think – the 2018-19 squads did not meet in Mason City until February 1, and owing in part to the Bulls’ place in the Central Division, the 2016-17 teams didn’t play in Mason City until February 3. The teams were set to play in Mason City on December 4 and 5, with those games pushed to March thanks to the lengthy COVID-19 sports shutdown in Minnesota.
ALL IS WELL ON THE HOME FRONT: North Iowa was able to defend its home ice against New Ulm last Friday night to extend an impressive home winning streak to 16 games – that run is the longest such streak at home since the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, when the Bulls won 19 in a row on home ice. The Bulls did not lose another home game after an overtime defeat on February 5, 2016 to Twin City (a team which the Bulls would dispatch in the Silver Cup semifinals), and won every game on home ice until a January 27, 2017 defeat against the new-look New Ulm Steel. The streak does not include a pair of home wins in the 2016 playoffs, nor does it include a neutral-site NA3HL Showcase loss to the Metro Jets, in which North Iowa was considered the home team.
HE MISSED IT: Granite City’s 3-2 loss to New Ulm on Wednesday night ended an impressive scoring run for Lumberjacks veteran Noah Bissett, who had scored a goal in four straight games entering the week. The St. Joseph, Minnesota native has scored once against the Bulls, in his first meeting with North Iowa on October 12, 2018. That goal capped a three-goal sprint in the second period in a 6-1 Lumberjacks victory.
DON’T LEAVE A TENDER MOMENT ALONE: Defenseman Jase Sofo has become the latest North Iowa Bulls player to sign an NAHL tender, inking with the Amarillo Bulls. He notched three points in four games with Amarillo earlier in the year, and has matched that with North Iowa. He is the 41st Bulls player all-time to sign an NAHL tender.
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