MASON CITY, Iowa – With just one goal over the first two months of the season, Austin McNeil was just waiting for a breakout sort of weekend.
Friday and Saturday night, the Shakopee, Minnesota native had just the weekend he’d been striving for. McNeil racked up five goals and an assist, including the game-winning goals on both nights. Wednesday, he was handsomely rewarded for his efforts with the NA3HL’s Bauer Hockey West Division Star of the Week award.
McNeil stood alone with a two-goal night on Friday, in an 8-2 romp over the Rochester Grizzlies. His first goal, just 13 seconds after a game-tying second-period tally from Nico Aguilera, proved to be the game-winner. His second goal came with just 1:15 to go, on a stretch pass up the right wing and a nifty dangle in front of the net.
His Saturday night outing helped the Bulls roar past the Willmar WarHawks with an 11-1 win. McNeil tallied a hat trick in the game, and added an assist for good measure. His two goals in the third period finished off his second multi-goal game in as many nights, and his first hat trick at the junior level. His first goal of the night was also the eventual game-winner
It was the fourth week this season that a North Iowa player has been chosen as the division’s Star of the Week. Just one month ago, Sota Isogai was chosen as the West’s Star of the Week after posting seven points in a weekend against the Breezy Point North Stars, including a hat trick in that Friday’s game. Cam Fagerlee and Mason Enright were also chosen as West Division Stars of the Week earlier in the season.
After Wednesday’s “Midweek Mustaches and Mullets Night” exhibition game against Shattuck-St. Mary’s, North Iowa will celebrate the fight against cancer on November 22 and 23 against the Granite City Lumberjacks. The Bulls will wear special jerseys both nights bearing the colors of the American Cancer Society, which will be auctioned off following Saturday’s game.
Updated news and information on North Iowa Bulls hockey is always available at www.northiowabulls.com, and by following the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. To purchase advance tickets to future Bulls home games, call 641-423-4625, or click here.