WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27 – 7:30 P.M., NORTH IOWA ICE ARENA (MASON CITY, IOWA)
IN A NUTSHELL: The Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres visit the Madhouse in Mason City to take on the North Iowa Bulls in an exhibition battle between a storied American high school hockey powerhouse and a rising Tier III titan.
ALL-TIME SERIES: North Iowa trails, 1-2-0 (the Bulls' only win in the series came Dec. 3, 2013 at home, 6-5).
TONIGHT'S PROMOTIONS: Get dinner and a show at this evening's matchup – gate admission is just $2 (and season ticket holders get in free) – hot dogs and beers are just a dollar apiece.
COVERAGE: All North Iowa Bulls games, home and away, are streamed live at fasthockey.com. Tonight's game will be carried exclusively on FastHockey, with Austin Draude on the call starting at 7:15.
TOP TEN: Nearly half of the North Iowa Bulls roster will be headed to Plymouth, Michigan during the week of February 15-17 for the NA3HL's Top Prospects Tournament. In addition to head coach Todd Sanden, who will be leading the Central team, Bulls players Tommi Ahlgren, Joe Burgmeier, Adam Orn, Austin Jackson and Brett Gravelle will all be joining him on the Central Division roster. The Midwest Division will be borrowing a goalie from the Bulls as well, allowing David Johnson to take part in the tourney. The 3HL office also selected two teams of top U18 talent, placing North Iowa's Marshall Barnes, Shane Bernhardson, Sean Mallonee and Tommy Stang on the U18 Selects Black team.
NO DRAFT DODGERS HERE…: The Shattuck-St. Mary's program has had quite a history in the NHL Draft, with 38 alumni taken over the last decade. Some of the more prominent players chosen in that span include top overall pick Nathan MacKinnon (2013, Colorado Avalanche), Erik Haula (2009, Minnesota Wild) and Derek Stepan (2008, New York Rangers). In all, there are 15 Sabres alumni currently on a National Hockey League roster.
…NONE, WHATSOEVER: The National Hockey League draft has been particularly good to Shattuck-St. Mary's alumni, but several current Sabres have landed on other draft boards. Current Sabres have already heard their name called in the United States Hockey League and Kontinental Hockey League drafts, and all three Canadian major junior leagues have chosen at least one current Sabres player as well.
NEXT-LEVEL HOCKEY: Six current Sabres are currently committed to NCAA Division I programs, including forward Oliver Wahlstrom, who was the youngest player ever to commit to a Division I program when he decided upon Maine at age 13. (He has since re-announced a commitment to Harvard University.)
RAISING BANNERS: Each team is rather accustomed to winning national championships at its respective level of the sport. The Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres boys' prep team has won nine USA Hockey U18 national titles since 1999, and four other squads at the school have a combined 11 USA Hockey national championships among them in as many years. The Bulls are only in their fifth year of existence, but won USA Hockey junior championships in 2013 and '15. With the elimination of the USA Hockey junior national tournament this season, a Silver Cup title in March would effectively give the Bulls another national title to cap the year.