MASON CITY, Iowa – Saturday night, the North Iowa Bulls clinched the first of four available Fraser Cup playoff spots in the North American Tier 3 Hockey League’s West Division. The Bulls reached 43 points in the West Division standings, placing them out of reach of the fifth-place New Ulm Steel, who could finish with no more than 42 points as of Saturday evening.
Even though matchups and exact schedules will not be available until after North Iowa’s regular season ends on March 27, there are dates that Bulls fans should set aside for both rounds in the Fraser Cup West Division playoffs.
The West Division Semifinals are set for Thursday, April 1 to Sunday, April 4, and the West Division Finals are set for Thursday, April 8 to Sunday, April 11. Both series will be played in a best-of-3 format, with the teams allotted four days to play those three games. The first team to win two games will advance in the postseason, meaning the third game will not be played if a team wins the first two.
The West Division playoff champion will advance to the Fraser Cup tournament in St. Peter, Missouri, scheduled for April 15-19. Fan information for the Fraser Cup tournament will be made available at a later date.
There is still some ground to cover before the Bulls reach the next two milestones on the list. The magic number for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs is 14 points, which would put North Iowa beyond the reach of both third-place Willmar and fourth-place Alexandria.
The bar to lock out Granite City and clinch an eighth division championship in 10 years is even higher, with a magic number of 22 points. Each point that North Iowa gains, or that the Bulls’ opponents miss out on, cuts into that magic number.
Home playoff games are included in 2020-21 season ticket packages. Single-game tickets for North Iowa home playoff games will be made available following the end of the regular season.