October 23, 2020 – 7:10 p.m.
Willmar Civic Center – Willmar, Minn.
NORTH IOWA BULLS (4-1-0-0)
@ WILLMAR WARHAWKS (2-3-0-0)
COVERAGE: HockeyTV (video/$)
LIVE STATS: CLICK HERE
BULLS vs. WILLMAR ALL-TIME: 15-0-1
NEXT HOME GAME: North Iowa celebrates Halloween at home against the Willmar WarHawks on October 31, with “Boos and Brews Night” – fans of the appropriate age will receive a free koozie with each purchase of two beers, and kids of all ages can enjoy trick-or-treating on the concourse during the first intermission. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN…AND AGAIN…AND AGAIN…: The Bulls and WarHawks are likely to get very familiar with each other over the next three weeks – North Iowa will play four of its next five games against Willmar, with three games in a row against the WarHawks starting next week. Before Pearl Harbor Day, the Bulls will have played three games in a row against Willmar, New Ulm and Granite City – North Iowa does not face Alexandria in three straight games at any point this season. Each of the Bulls’ opponents will face them 10 times this season, with a maximum of 15 meetings possible including the playoffs and the Fraser Cup national tournament.
G-FREE, STAR OF THE WEEK: North Iowa has its first Bauer Hockey West Division Star of the Week honoree this season, with Garrett Freeman hauling in the award for last weekend’s action against the New Ulm Steel – Freeman tallied a goal and two assists in those two games against the Steel, and his first-period goal on Saturday night proved to be the game-winner in a 6-1 home win. The Sartell, Minnesota native has five points over a three-game stretch, and sits tied with Brayden Uttech for the team scoring lead. Freeman earned nominations as a member of the Breezy Point North Stars last season as part of a 30-goal season, but this award is his first such honor in his NA3HL career.
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: After five straight road games to start the season, Willmar makes its home debut in Friday’s game – it’s the second straight season that the WarHawks have welcomed the Bulls for their home opener, but their first home opener against North Iowa at the Willmar Civic Center. Civic Center renovations last season pushed the teams to the Litchfield Civic Arena a half-hour to the east, where the Bulls earned a 6-2 victory. Seven other teams in the league still have yet to play their first home games, with six of them in either the East or Frontier Divisions.
ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER: The WarHawks are still hunting for their first power play goal of the season as the new weekend begins, with opponents shutting down their first 18 power-play chances of 2020-21 and their last 31 overall. Willmar’s last power play goal came in a 4-3 loss to the Peoria Mustangs, back on February 22. North Iowa’s special teams are heading in the other direction, with their 95-percent mark on the penalty kill ranking among the league’s top four teams.
MEDIA NOTES (click the arrow to expand):