North Iowa Keeps Division Title Hopes Alive

Jan 20, 2013

The North Iowa Bulls stayed ahead of division rival Granite City with a 4-1 victory over the Lumberjacks in front of almost 1400 fans on Saturday night at the North Iowa Events Center Ice Arena. Matt Kroska gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead on a short handed goal that was assisted by Eric Behrend. North Iowa then connected on two consecutive powerplays to take a 3-0 lead. James Hughes tallied the first powerplay marker which proved to be the gamewinner. Hughes was assisted by Behrend and Jake Johnson. Just 3:04 later Timothy Santopoalo slipped through the low slot and rifled a shot past the Granite City netminder. Santopoalo was assisted by Johnson and Connor Langfield. Midway through the second period Bulls goaltender Aaron Davis was put to the test as Granite City forward Brett Love was awarded a penalty shot. Davis played it cool and stayed patient and in position to stymie the opportunity. The second period ended with the Bulls leading 3-1. North Iowa outshot Granite City 9-4 in the third period and Bulls forward Conor Jonasson added an insurance goal 6:36 into the last frame. Patrick Sivets and Tony Paulson had helpers on Jonasson's third goal of the season. Davis made 24 saves.
On Sunday morning the Bulls caught a beleagured Breezy Point North Stars and skated to a 10-3 win. With Breezy Point playing their third game of the weekend and catching an early morning bus ride to the barn the Bulls felt a quick start would be effective. Breezy Point kept the Bulls honest battling to a 3-2 first period score. The Bulls opened it up in the second and third period outscoring the North Stars 7-1 through the last 40 minutes. Matt Bartels made 25 saves in his league leading 17 win of the season. Matt Kroska, Eric Behrend, Tony Paulson, and Tim Santopoalo had 4 points each, Santopoalo had the hat trick which included the game winner.
The next two weekends will pit the Bulls against the Quad City Flames. North Iowa visits Davenport next weekend with the Flames coming to the "Barn" the first weekend in February during the North Iowa Bulls "Make -A- Wish weekend.