October 17, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Multipurpose Arena – Mason City, Iowa
NEW ULM STEEL (0-4-0-0)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS (3-1-0-0)
LIVE STATS: CLICK HERE
BULLS vs. NEW ULM ALL-TIME: 49-10-4
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa returns to home ice on Saturday, October 17 for “Hocktoberfest,” featuring $2 beer specials and free pucks and mini-sticks with a $25 merchandise purchase. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
BACK WITH A VENGEANCE: The season has barely begun, but the race to the top of the scoring column for the Bulls is already in full swing. Sota Isogai’s two goals in Friday’s game make him the only three-goal scorer yet this year for North Iowa, after cementing himself as one of the leaders returning from 2019-20. Isogai tallied 38 points a year ago, including 22 goals, earning a North American Hockey League tender from the Fairbanks Ice Dogs before coming back to Mason City, making him the top returning scorer from last year’s team.
MAJOR MILESTONE: North Iowa reached the century mark for the fourth time Friday night, earning its 400th win against junior competition and giving head coach Todd Sanden his 400th win as the Bulls’ head coach. That mark includes victories in the regular season, NA3HL postseason, USA Hockey national tournaments and two late adds to the schedule against the Topeka Capitals during the 2013-14 season. It does not include the team’s three exhibition wins against the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres. Including the postseason, the Bulls are the first NA3HL team to reach the 400-win plateau since the NA3HL began competition during the 2010-11 season.
AFTER SWEET 16, A SOUR NOTE: New Ulm’s only goal last night came on the power play, ending North Iowa’s string of 16 successful penalty kills dating back to last season. The Bulls killed off all of the first 13 power play opportunities they came up against to start the year, and also wiped away the final three Granite City power plays in a 5-2 win that closed out the 2019-20 season for both teams. Despite the lone special-teams setback in last night’s game, the Bulls are still tied – with New Ulm, no less – for fifth in the league on the penalty kill.
IN A STARRING ROLE: If he’s able to help New Ulm to a win in this contest, the reigning NA3HL West Division Star of the Week may be back at the top again this coming week. Joey Gimberlin notched his third goal of the year on the power play Friday night, after putting the Steel ahead 3-1 with points on all three New Ulm goals in a loss to Alexandria last Friday. The St. Paul, Minnesota native racked up 37 points last year in his debut season with New Ulm.
MEDIA NOTES (click the arrow to expand):