October 2, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Multipurpose Arena – Mason City, Iowa
ALEXANDRIA BLIZZARD (2019-20: 28-14-4-1)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS (2019-20: 38-7-2-0)
BULLS vs. ALEXANDRIA ALL-TIME: 34-5-3
TONIGHT’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa’s home opener features a magnet schedule giveaway for the first 200 fans, and a handful of raffles and prize giveaways. Autographed schedule posters will be available in Brutus’s Locker Room Sponsored by Christie Door Company, and a few posters will also be tossed into the crowd during the game. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
WELL, I WOULD PLAY 500 GAMES: North Iowa’s game tonight marks a milestone in its proud history, not only starting its 10th Anniversary season in Mason City, but also playing its 500th official contest. That mark includes regular-season games, postseason and national tournament contests, and two late additions to the 2013-14 schedule against the Topeka Capitals (those games were deemed official contests for the Capitals, but were considered to be “exhibition games” for the Bulls). North Iowa has won 397 of those games, not including three in-season exhibition wins against the Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep team.
THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN: The debut of Mason City’s new arena and an odd schedule arrangement around COVID have left the Bulls with a unique opportunity, as the only active hockey team in the state of Iowa through the month of October. The United States Hockey League, which has five teams in the state, has announced a November 5 debut, while the American Hockey League has announced that the Iowa Wild and its 30 other member teams will start their 2020-21 season no earlier than December 4.
BLIZZARD BLAZE INTO 2020-21: Alexandria returns for its ninth year in the NA3HL looking to add onto their solid season in 2019-20 – more than a dozen Blizzard players are back from a year ago, including one goaltender in Bailey Rosch. Last year’s team held off a late-season surge from the Willmar WarHawks, and won eight of their final 10 to finish in fourth place in the West Division. Alexandria was set to take on the Bulls in the West semifinals before the league’s COVID shutdown.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: It’s hard to glean too much from two exhibition games, but 2020-21 is starting off well for Hayden Fox – the South Anchorage High School alumnus was the only Bull to score multiple goals during the preseason. Fox was a third-round pick of the Bulls during the NA3HL Draft back in April.