March 25, 2022 – 7:30 p.m.
March 26, 2022 – 7:30 p.m.
Mason City Arena – Mason City, IA
MINOT MINOTAUROS (27-24-2-1)
@ NORTH IOWA BULLS (21-23-3-5)
BULLS vs. MINOT ALL-TIME: 4-2-0
IN A NUTSHELL:
This weekend marks a critical junction in the season for the Bulls, with two games against the fourth-place team in the Central Division.
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS:
The Bulls welcome their billet and player families to this weekend’s games, and this weekend’s games also mark North Iowa’s final jersey auction weekend of the season – jerseys will be auctioned off in person after Saturday’s game, with proceeds benefiting Mason City Parks and Recreation, and fans will be able to enjoy a postgame skate Saturday night as well.
SPEAK NOW, OR…:
If North Iowa is going to make its playoff push, this may be the weekend to do it – the Bulls currently sit seven points back of the fourth and final Central Division playoff spot with eight games to go.The final team slotted into the playoffs is the Minot team that North Iowa faces this weekend – with a sweep, the Bulls could find themselves as close as three points out of fourth place with six games to go, putting them right in the hunt with three weeks left. A sweep going the wrong direction, however, likely puts the Bulls 11 points off the pace, and just two points away from postseason elimination.
HE’S A HANDFUL:
Forward Byron Hartley has been a literal handful for the Minotauros this season, posting five goals in six meetings against Minot. His best showing in the series, by far, came on January 15 in a 5-4 North Iowa victory at the Maysa Arena – Hartley picked up two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist. The Bulls got every period started the right way that night, posting a goal in the first two minutes every time out of the locker room.
HOMING IN ON THE POSTSEASON:
A busy home stretch continues, with the Bulls on home ice for eight of their last 10 games. Both remaining road games are scheduled as part of home-and-home weekends against first-place St. Cloud, against whom four of the Bulls’ final six games will be played.
BACK WITH A VENGEANCE:
Forward Logan Dombrowsky spent six weeks on the injured list, but returned with a smashing performance last Friday against Aberdeen, notching three assists in his first appearance since February 5, just before his trip to the NAHL’s Top Prospects event. His three points tied a career high, and his three assists set a new one – his only prior three-point performance came September 17 with two goals and an assist at the NAHL Showcase against the Amarillo Wranglers.
There aren’t many teams that have been tougher to hold down than Minot when going into the final 20 minutes – the Minotauros have come back from a deficit at the second intermission for six wins this season. Only New Mexico (seven wins) has a better mark, and Jamestown is the only other NAHL team to match it. Colby Joseph leads the way against North Iowa, with eight points in six appearances against the Bulls.