NEW ULM, Minn. – Brendan Studioso (Mukilteo, Wash./North Iowa Bulls) has had the New Ulm Steel’s number this season. The Bulls have played New Ulm five times, and every time, Studioso has come off the ice with at least one point. With his team finishing its longest weekend of the regular season, he came up even bigger, with a goal, an assist and the eventual winner in a 5-4 shootout win Sunday afternoon at the New Ulm Civic Center.
New Ulm fired the game’s opening salvo, though, and they did it early. Right off of a faceoff to Dysen Skinner’s (Billings, Mont./Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede 18U) right, Carson Sandwick’s shot bounced away to Jake Ford, who buried the rebound just 3:30 into the contest for a 1-0 lead.
Halfway through a Steel penalty-kill, though, the Bulls struck back. A couple of nifty passes across the slot from Jarod Blackowiak (Eden Prairie, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) and Matt Dahlseide (Maplewood, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) found Hank Nagel (Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka H.S.) at the edge of the crease, for a tying one-timer at 12:24 of the first period.
The Bulls grabbed the lead just moments later – with 5:35 left in the period, Nick Johnson (New Richmond, Wis./Team Wisconsin) pushed a pass to Jordan Roo (Champlin, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s H.S.) in front of the net as he was falling down, and Roo tapped it in for the go-ahead goal.
It was in the second period when Studioso really made his presence known, finishing a 2-on-1 rush into the Steel zone with a quick one-time tap-in just 4:17 out of the break to make it a 3-1 game.
The two teams traded goals in the final 10:32 of the period, with Brian Oare’s wrister from the top of the slot matched by Carter Wagner’s (Lino Lakes, Minn./Minnesota Magicians) power play rip from the left-wing faceoff circle. The latter came with 2:07 on the second-period clock, sending the Bulls back to the locker room up 4-2.
The lead wouldn’t last, though – Jordan Cooper took over the final 20 minutes of regulation for New Ulm, burying a right-wing chance at 5:01 of the third period on a delayed penalty call to drop the lead to 4-3. Cooper struck again with 4:13 to go, on a snap from the left-wing point that snuck through traffic and beat Skinner to tie the game, 4-4.
Each team had its opportunities in the extra five minutes, with the Bulls putting four shots on Henry Baribeau and New Ulm getting three shots against Skinner. After all seven shots were blocked, Cooper got the Steel in front in the shootout with a drag across the front of the net, popping the puck in behind Skinner. Nagel and Studioso scored on back-to-back shots before Skinner stopped Jarrett Cammarata to finish off the win.
Blackowiak never scored in the game, but played a major offensive role with a couple of assists. Hunter Johnson and Keegan Bauman had a couple of helpers each for the hosts in the loss.
Skinner made 28 stops to pick up the victory, moving to 13-4-2-0 on the year, while Baribeau’s 42 saves ended up being just one save short for the Steel. The Bulls took advantage of their chances with the extra man, going 2-for-4 on the power play while New Ulm missed on its only power play opportunity.
North Iowa’s third win in a row pushed the Bulls to 27-10-2-0 on the season, while New Ulm fell to 22-15-0-3 on the season. In seven trips to the New Ulm Civic Center, the Bulls have never lost, though they have had to endure two shootout victories in that time.
The schedule becomes a whole lot more favorable for North Iowa after this weekend, with seven of their next eight on home ice in Mason City. The only road trip in that span takes the Bulls to Rochester on February 22, and that homestand could reach eight games out of nine with a top-two finish in the West Division standings.
Up next is a Friday-Saturday set against the defending Fraser Cup runner-up St. Louis Jr. Blues. The opening puck drop both nights is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the North Iowa Ice Arena. Live streaming coverage for both games is available on HockeyTV, with Saturday’s game audio-streaming live on Mixlr.
Next Friday and Saturday, the Bulls will celebrate their “Grateful Weekend” with Grateful Dead-inspired jerseys. Those will be auctioned off Saturday night, to benefit the Humane Society of North Iowa. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
North Iowa 2 2 0 0 – 5
New Ulm 1 1 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, New Ulm, Ford 11 (Sandwick, Johnson), 3:30. 2, North Iowa, Nagel 2 (Dahlseide, Blackowiak), 12:24 (PP). 3, North Iowa, Roo 6 (Johnson, Giddings), 14:31. Penalties-Oare Num (tripping-minor), 3:40; Bauman Num (unsportsmanlike conduct-minor (embellishment/diving)), 5:37; Schulz Num (high sticking-minor), 11:29.
2nd Period-4, North Iowa, Studioso 19 (Blackowiak), 4:17. 5, New Ulm, Oare 6 (Halvorson, Bauman), 9:28. 6, North Iowa, Wagner 4 (Studioso, Petronack), 17:53 (PP). Penalties-Wagner Nio (roughing-minor), 6:29; McDermott Nio (interference-minor), 10:58; Sandwick Num (roughing-minor), 10:58; Bowlin Nio (unsportsmanlike conduct-10 minute misconduct), 16:50; Johnson Num (slashing-minor), 16:50.
3rd Period-7, New Ulm, Cooper 11 (Johnson, Ayd), 5:01. 8, New Ulm, Cooper 12 (Bauman, Savelkoul), 15:47. Penalties-Brandt Nio (holding-minor), 5:01.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – North Iowa 2 (Nagel NG, Wagner G, Studioso G), New Ulm 1 (Cooper G, Johnson NG, Cammarata NG).
Shots on Goal-North Iowa 21-10-11-4-1-47. New Ulm 7-12-10-3-0-32.
Power Play Opportunities-North Iowa 2 / 4; New Ulm 0 / 1.
Goalies-North Iowa, Skinner 13-4-2-0 (32 shots-28 saves). New Ulm, Baribeau 17-11-0-2 (46 shots-42 saves).
Linesmen-Peter Jenkin, Hunter Mottinger.