Hartley Collects Bulls’ Latest Star of the Week Honor

Mar 28, 2022

MASON CITY, Iowa – Byron Hartley saved one of his biggest weekends of the season for some of his favorite fans.

With Hartley’s family in the building for the Bulls’ Billet and Player Family Weekend, the Philadelphia native went off for another big weekend against the Minot Minotauros this past week, helping his North Iowa Bulls team pick up three crucial points in the North American Hockey League Central Division standings, and earning the Bulls’ latest NAHL Central Division Star of the Week award.

Hartley racked up two goals and an assist on Friday night, leading the Bulls to a 5-3 win, sealing the game with an empty-net tally with 1:13 remaining. He would add an assist in Saturday’s game, helping North Iowa build a 2-0 first-period lead before ultimately falling 4-3 in a shootout. Hartley also finished with a +3 plus/minus rating for the weekend, helping to keep the Bulls in the Central Division playoff race.

He has particularly enjoyed the Bulls’ eight matchups with the Minotauros, posting seven goals in the season series, tying for the most on the team against any one opponent. Of his three games this season with two goals and an assist, two have come against Minot.

“Byron is consistent in bringing us positive energy and has been a reliable player offensively,” said North Iowa head coach and general manager Todd Sanden. “We will not be surprised if he earns an NCAA Division I commitment soon.”

Hartley has had a pair of red-hot scoring runs this season, posting 15 points in a 10-game span that began with a North Iowa win at Minot on January 15. He’s posted seven more points over the Bulls’ last six games, shooting into a tie for third on the team with 35 points on the season. His 20 goals ranks second behind Carter Rapalje.

It is the fifth time this season that a North Iowa player has earned the Central Division’s Star of the Week award, and Hartley is the fourth player to do it. Sean Vlasich brought home the hardware after a weekend sweep at the Springfield Jr. Blues four weeks ago, while Hunter Garvey earned Star of the Week kudos twice during the early part of the season, including once after an October sweep at Minot. Rapalje is the other Bull to earn a Star of the Week award this season, with five goals and an assist in an early-November sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats.

Now, Hartley and company head into the final three weeks of the regular season looking to close a six-point gap and finish the regular season with a Robertson Cup playoff berth. The Bulls square off against the first-place St. Cloud Norsemen Wednesday night at the Mason City Arena, with the opening puck drop scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Live streaming coverage of Wednesday’s game is available on HockeyTV Presented by Dakota Fix Shelter Insurance, and Mixlr.

Wednesday’s game is the Bulls’ “Why Not Wednesday,” with $5 adult admission and free admission for kids 12 and under, and $2 domestic beers. To purchase advance tickets to Wednesday’s game or any upcoming North Iowa Bulls home game, call 641-423-4625 or click here. Updated news and information on North Iowa Bulls hockey are always available at www.northiowabulls.com, and by following the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.