January 22, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Multipurpose Arena – Mason City, Iowa
ALEXANDRIA BLIZZARD (6-8-1-0)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS (12-4-0-0)
LIVE STATS: CLICK HERE
BULLS vs. ALEXANDRIA ALL-TIME: 37-7-3
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa returns to home ice for our “Together We Are Stronger” promotion against the Alexandria Blizzard, to benefit Mason City Youth Hockey. That game will include a bucket run and t-shirt sales to benefit Mason City Youth Hockey, and a scrimmage featuring Mason City Youth Hockey players during the first intermission. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
CLIMBING THE LADDER: Evan Babekuhl’s win on Sunday evening put him in elite company among North Iowa netminders, landing him in a tie for second place on the Bulls’ all- time wins list. Babekuhl’s 31 wins tied him with Chris Amsden and David Johnson, who each left North Iowa with national championships in their final appearances. The only remaining North Iowa goalie to catch is Matthew Bartels, who led the Bulls to their first national title in 2013 and finished his career with 41 regular-season victories.
FIRST-PERIOD FAMINE: In order to pick up a rare win on the Bulls’ home ice, the Blizzard will need to step up their first-period game – Alexandria has notched a first-period goal in just two of its last nine games, and only once since the start of the calendar year. Their nine first-period goals this season rank fourth-lowest in the league. As for the early goings of the Bulls’ games against the Blizzard, those have been stalemates all season – the teams have combined for just two first-period goals over their last four meetings.
MIDWEEK MADNESS: Alexandria returns to the road after hosting Willmar in a midweek makeup contest Wednesday night, with a red-hot Willmar bunch soaring to a 6-1 win. The WarHawks picked up 18 shots on net in the first period, and scored three times in the first 14 minutes. Willmar got two goals each from Michael Sweetland and Alex Kupka, hours after Kupka’s first career goal Saturday against the Blizzard was named the league’s top play of the past week. The Blizzard got on the board on Nikolai Rajala’s power play goal 6:01 into the third, busting a shutout in the making for Lukas Haugen, who made 29 saves.
YOU’RE JUST MAKING THINGS UP: All 10 North Iowa games that were wiped out by Minnesota’s statewide COVID sports shutdown have now been rescheduled, with one already having been played (Sunday, at Alexandria). The Bulls have one more against the Blizzard to make up, plus two against Willmar and one at New Ulm – the bulk of the rescheduling was done with Granite City, who lost five games against the Bulls to the stoppage. The complete, updated schedule is available here.
MEDIA NOTES (click the arrow to expand):