MASON CITY, Iowa – After going 5-5 to start the season, and playing nine of their first 10 on the road, the North Iowa Bulls could use a little home cooking. With a dash of offensive opportunity and a sprinkle of power-play success in a pinch, the Bulls earned a 6-4 victory over the Breezy Point North Stars on Friday, climbing back above .500 for the year.
Gunner Bourassa’s tripping minor 5:40 into the game opened the door a crack for North Iowa, and the Bulls kicked it open shortly after. One minute into the penalty time, Jimmy McDermott (Dubuque, Iowa/Wisconsin Whalers) buried a rebound for the opening goal of the night and a 1-0 lead.
Carson Simon took advantage of a North Iowa turnover just past the midway point of the period, though, sending one past Connor Poczos (Austin, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) to tie the game. The scoring chances were a bit one-sided after the first 20 minutes, though, with the Bulls leading the shot count 21-6.
Just beyond the 11-minute mark of the second period, Jarod Blackowiak‘s (Eden Prairie, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) nifty feed to Brendan Studioso (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) led to the Bulls’ second go-ahead goal of the night. In the final 4:04 of the stanza, Simon and Konnor Carlson (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley H.S.) traded tallies, giving North Iowa a 3-2 lead at intermission.
Carlson’s rebound goal putt Matt Rozman (Edina, Minn./Edina Jr. Gold) in position for an insurance goal less than three-and-a-half minutes out of the break, but a shorthanded tally from Bourassa at 4:57 of the third made it a 4-3 game. The Bulls answered back at 10:20, when Studioso won a battle along the boards and spun back in front of the net for a backhand goal.
The teams traded goals again one last time, on Casey Hormann’s goal with 1:23 remaining and the empty-netter from the newest Bull, Joey Petronack (White Bear Lake, Minn./Hill-Murray H.S.) with 42 seconds showing on the third-period timer.
Studioso had himself a night, with a goal and two assists, putting him over the century mark in his third season in a North Iowa uniform. Poczos made 21 saves on 25 chances to keep himself perfect in a Bulls uniform, at 3-0-0-0 on the young season. Max Eilefson turned away 37 shots, dropping his record for the year to 1-4-1-0.
The Bulls climb above 6-5-0-0 for the season, while Breezy Point slips to 2-8-1-0 heading into a rematch Saturday night at the North Iowa Ice Arena. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m., with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV and a live audio webcast on Mixlr.
Saturday night’s game is also “Light It Up” Night, as North Iowa and the North Stars celebrate our local law enforcement. All law enforcement personnel receive free admission to Saturday’s game, and families of law enforcement will be admitted at half-price. A donut eating contest will also be held at intermission. For advance tickets to Saturday’s game or any North Iowa Bulls home contest click here.
Breezy Point 1 1 2 – 4
North Iowa 1 2 3 – 6
1st Period-1, North Iowa, McDermott 3 (Studioso, Bogach), 6:41 (PP). 2, Breezy Point, Simon 5 10:31. Penalties-Bourassa Bzp (tripping-minor), 5:40; Linder Bzp (boarding-minor), 16:16.
2nd Period-3, North Iowa, Studioso 4 (Blackowiak, McDermott), 11:04. 4, Breezy Point, Simon 6 (Borseth, Evers), 15:51. 5, North Iowa, Carlson 1 17:00. Penalties-McDermott Nio (hooking-minor), 6:59.
3rd Period-6, North Iowa, Rozman 2 (Junker), 3:27. 7, Breezy Point, Bourassa 2 (Simon, Brockman), 4:57 (SH). 8, North Iowa, Dahlseide 5 (Studioso, Verstegen), 10:20. 9, Breezy Point, Hormann 2 (O’Connor, Zaste), 18:37. 10, North Iowa, Petronack 1 19:18 (EN). Penalties-Hormann Bzp (holding-minor), 3:56; Borseth Bzp (roughing-minor), 10:58; Blackowiak Nio (roughing-minor), 10:58; Berkowitz Bzp (roughing-minor), 15:40; Stewart Nio (roughing-minor, unsportsmanlike conduct – 10 minute), 15:40; Studioso Nio (tripping-minor), 15:40.
Shots on Goal-Breezy Point 6-9-10-25. North Iowa 21-14-8-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Breezy Point 0 / 2; North Iowa 1 / 3.
Goalies-Breezy Point, Eilefson 1-4-1-0 (42 shots-37 saves). North Iowa, Poczos 3-0-0-0 (25 shots-21 saves).
Linesmen-Daniel Naylor, Zach Carson.