MASON CITY, Iowa – Indoor sports action has been sparse in the Mason City area since the North Iowa Bulls’ last home game on March 1. The Mason City Multipurpose Arena will come alive again this weekend for the Bulls’ Main Tryout Camp, starting Friday afternoon. Seven teams will hit the ice this weekend, including two North Iowa squads, as the Bulls look to pare down their roster ahead of the start of the season in early October.
The Main Tryout Camp will be held in a showcase format, with four games on Friday, six games on Saturday and four more on Sunday. Each game will feature two 30-minute periods with a running clock, preceded by a seven-minute warmup. A three-minute timeout will be taken between periods, and the ice will be resurfaced between games only. Tie games will end with a sudden-death shootout.
Tickets are now available online, with daily sales available here and all-weekend passes available here. Daily tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids under the age of 16. All-weekend admission is $10 for adults, and just $5 for kids. Admission is free for those age 4 and under, however, they will need a ticket to enter the arena. Fans are encouraged to buy online ahead of time – due to physical distancing requirements, reserved seating is in place for this weekend’s camp, with roughly 600 tickets per day available for sale.
Temperature checks will be required upon entry to the arena, and per the City of Mason City’s mask mandate inside all city-owned and leased buildings, face coverings will be required inside the facility. Several new merchandise items will be available for sale at the Main Tryout Camp, including new mask designs and a gaiter-style face covering. Doors will open one hour prior to the first game of the day, and entry from Southbridge Mall will not be possible on Sunday morning.
The organizations fielding teams at this year’s Main Tryout Camp are:
NORTH IOWA BULLS: The Bulls will look to this weekend’s camp to build the right roster for their 10th Anniversary season, after going 38-7-2-0 last year to win their seventh division championship in nine years. Not included among those 38 wins was a victory over the vaunted Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep hockey team in November. North Iowa will field two teams at this event, with 2020-21 roster selections to be made immediately following the camp.
SHERIDAN HAWKS: The NA3HL newcomers made quite the impression in their first season, going 35-10-1-1 and taking second in the NA3HL’s Frontier Division. The team moved to Wyoming after six years in the Madison, Wisconsin area as the Wisconsin Whalers, and nearly a decade before that in Davenport, Iowa. This event will also serve as Sheridan’s tryout camp, and the Hawks will field two teams as well.
KENAI RIVER BROWN BEARS: This will be a homecoming of sorts for the Brown Bears’ head coach – former Bulls associate head coach Kevin Murdock led the team to a third-place finish in the North American Hockey League’s Midwest Division last year. The team won 10 straight in November, spending part of the season in first place, and its .577 winning percentage ranks as the team’s best-ever finish. 18 players and alumni landed NCAA commitments last year, including 11 Division I roster spots, more than the team’s total over the previous five years.
HAWKEYE HOCKEY SERVICES: Not to be confused with the black-and-gold ACHA up-and-comers in Iowa City, Hawkeye is a consulting and training service based in Minnesota and founded by Fairbanks Ice Dogs head scout Eric Darwitz. Dozens of Hawkeye advisees have landed on junior and top college rosters over the last several years, and 10 players who played junior hockey last year will appear this weekend.
MIKE BOWMAN HOCKEY: Bowman Hockey has been a major contributor to the Bulls’ recent success, with nine North Iowa alumni on the Bowman roster this weekend. Another training and advising service for hockey players in Minnesota, Bowman Hockey has seen nearly 270 players move on to junior, college and professional teams.
BULLS MAIN TRYOUT CAMP SCHEDULE
|FRIDAY, AUG. 21|
North Iowa Bulls 1 VS Sheridan Hawks 1
Ice Dogs VS Sheridan Hawks 2
Bowman Hockey VS North Iowa Bulls 2
Brown Bears VS North Iowa Bulls 1
|SATURDAY, AUG. 22|
North Iowa Bulls 2 VS Brown Bears
Sheridan Hawks 2 VS Bowman Hockey
Sheridan Hawks 1 VS Ice Dogs
Bowman Hockey VS Brown Bears
North Iowa Bulls 1 VS Ice Dogs
Sheridan Hawks 2 VS North Iowa Bulls 2
|SUNDAY, AUG. 23|
Sheridan Hawks 1 VS Bowman Hockey
Brown Bears VS Ice Dogs
Sheridan Hawks 1 VS Sheridan Hawks 2
North Iowa Bulls 1 VS North Iowa Bulls 2