March 27, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Sports Arena East – Sauk Rapids, Minn.
NORTH IOWA BULLS (26-11-1-1)
@ GRANITE CITY LUMBERJACKS (26-11-0-1)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$)
LIVE STATS: CLICK HERE
BULLS vs. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 43-30-7
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa awaits its playoff schedule, with home-ice advantage wrapped up for the first round. The playoff opener will feature a Bulls trading card giveaway, with a full set of North Iowa trading cards to the first 100 fans in the building. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
THE END OF THE ROAD: Tonight’s 81st meeting, and 39th at Sports Arena East, may be the final game in a tremendous 10-year rivalry between the teams. Over their storied histories, the teams have combined for six Silver/Fraser Cup championships (North Iowa: 2013, 2014, 2016; Granite City: 2012, 2015, 2017) and four national championships (North Iowa: 2013, 2015, 2016; Granite City: 2017). The USA Hockey national tournament was discontinued after 2015, making the teams’ last national titles de facto crowns in a league with several dozen teams spread across three time zones. The winner takes either its eighth division title in 10 years (North Iowa), or its sixth (Granite City), with the winner locking in an almost-certain playoff date with the Alexandria Blizzard.
THE LUCKY FEW: North Iowa will wrap up a season tonight that has seen larger rosters due to COVID precautions, and a proportionally higher turnover as well. 43 players have suited up for the Bulls this season – that number is on the higher end, but not unheard of for a North Iowa roster. 43 players suited up for the team in 2016-17, the last time more than 40 players put on a Bulls uniform. The all-time high is 45, during the Bulls’ national championship run in 2014-15.
NEXT-LEVEL NEWS: Bulls defenseman Caleb Huffman will play in this contest after missing last Saturday’s game with a call-up to the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears – he did not factor into the scoring in a 4-2 loss to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, but became one of nearly 50 Bulls players to climb the junior hockey ladder and suit up in the NAHL. Brown Bear teammate and former Bull Lucas Wahlin did score in that game, a tying goal on the power play late in the second period.
MEDIA NOTES (click the arrow to expand):