BREEZY POINT, Minn. – When the North Iowa Bulls entered their locker room at the Breezy Point Hockey Center on Friday night, there was a message waiting for them on the whiteboard:
“You don’t always get what you wish for…you get what you work for.”
North Iowa’s two wins against the Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep team prior to Wednesday night have been a proven milestone in the season, with both teams later going on to win a Fraser Cup. Todd Sanden’s players know, however, they can’t just assume the same will come true again this season.
The Bulls did a fine job of proving their mettle in their first game since that resounding win, cruising to an 11-1 win at Breezy Point on Friday evening. 10 different players scored in the game, including two who picked up their very first goals with the Bulls.
North Iowa started early, earning their first goal just 4:50 into the game on a toss to the net by Noah Roitman (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley H.S.), with Matt Dahlseide (Maplewood, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) finishing the play. Barely two minutes later, North Iowa did some more damage, with Nico Aguilera (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South H.S.) jamming one in to take advantage of a 5-on-3 chance and double the lead.
The Bulls got their next two goals from first-time scorers – with seven minutes to go in the first period, Davis Smidt (Brentwood, Tenn./Kenai River Brown Bears) buried a chance for his first goal as a Bull, extending the lead to 3-0. Braeden Zaste briefly busted up the party, though, tossing one into the upper corner with 1:27 to go, dropping the Bulls’ lead to 3-1.
“We’re definitely moving the puck high to low, low to high, and getting it across,” said Smidt. “We’re just moving the puck around and getting the goalies moving.”
Roitman wasn’t about to be left out of the fun, though – at 6:01 of the second period, he beat Griffin Foster from the right-wing faceoff circle to extend the lead back to three goals.
After that, there was no looking back – Carter Wagner’s (Lino Lakes, Minn./Odessa Jackalopes) goal on the rebound at 12:06 of the second period made it a 5-1 game, and a match penalty to Jordan Linder allowed the Bulls a five-minute power play late in the period. Ryan Hempel’s (Katy, Texas/Elliot Lake Wildcats) own rebound tally with 2:31 remaining allowed North Iowa to take a 6-1 lead to the locker room ahead of the final period.
After that, the visitors simply kept adding on – with a tripping penalty coming up, Lucas Wahlin (Woodbury, Minn./Hill-Murray H.S.) was able to stay in control of the puck and beat Foster in front of the net at 2:41 of the third period for a 7-1 advantage. With Wahlin taking over the team lead in goals, Cam Fagerlee (St. Anthony, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) took it upon himself to even up the race again, beating Foster low at 7:26 of the period for an 8-1 lead.
Two goals in quick succession allowed the Bulls to reach double figures with 8:02 to go – Jackson Vercellono (Laconia, N.H./St. Cloud Blizzard) chopped one into the net with 9:29 remaining, before Jordan Roo (Champlin, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) became the team’s 10th goal scorer of the night just 87 seconds later. Vercellono took the lead to double digits with his second goal with just 2:49 showing on the third-period clock.
Dysen Skinner (Billings, Mont./North Iowa Bulls) made just 13 saves to earn his sixth win of the season, while Griffin Foster took the loss to fall to 1-9 for the season. North Iowa tossed 63 shots on the North Stars’ net in Friday’s game, just two months after putting 71 shots on Foster in their season-opening 9-0 victory.
Vercellono finished the night with a team-high four points, adding two assists to his pair of goals. Three assists for Roo also allowed him to finish the evening with four points.
“I’m stoked,” said Vercellono. “I’m really happy to be here and I’m ready to keep producing some more. Hopefully you’ll see some more out of me tomorrow.”
The Bulls head back to their home ice on Friday and Saturday next week for their final jersey auction in the “Barn,” but a Saturday night road test against the Willmar WarHawks is first up this weekend. That game gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the Willmar Civic Center, with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV.
Updated news and information on North Iowa Bulls hockey are always available at www.northiowabulls.com, and by following the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. To purchase advance tickets to future Bulls home games, call 641-423-4625 or click here.
North Iowa 3 3 5 – 11
Breezy Point 1 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, North Iowa, Dahlseide 9 (Roitman, Bowlin), 4:50. 2, North Iowa, Aguilera 6 (Stewart, Wahlin), 6:59 (PP). 3, North Iowa, Smidt 1 (Stewart, Vercellono), 13:00. 4, Breezy Point, Zaste 3 (Maietta, Freemon), 18:29. Penalties-Freemon Bzp (cross checking-minor), 5:48; Linder Bzp (tripping-minor), 6:11; Linder Bzp (cross checking-minor), 19:24.
2nd Period-5, North Iowa, Roitman 1 (Roo, Nauss), 6:01. 6, North Iowa, Wagner 3 (Fagerlee, Roo), 12:06. 7, North Iowa, Hempel 6 (Vercellono, Stewart), 17:29 (PP). Penalties-Praetz Bzp (interference-minor), 2:18; Linder Bzp (abuse of officials – major, unsportsmanlike conduct-match), 13:05.
3rd Period-8, North Iowa, Wahlin 13 (Roitman), 2:41. 9, North Iowa, Fagerlee 13 (Roo, Kubitz), 7:26. 10, North Iowa, Vercellono 2 (Triemert, Nauss), 10:31. 11, North Iowa, Roo 10 (Fagerlee, Wagner), 11:58. 12, North Iowa, Vercellono 3 (Triemert, Kubitz), 17:11. Penalties-Praetz Bzp (tripping-minor), 2:41; Dahlseide Nio (head contact-minor), 7:49; Wagner Nio (tripping-minor), 12:22.
Shots on Goal-North Iowa 21-26-16-63. Breezy Point 5-3-6-14.
Power Play Opportunities-North Iowa 2 / 5; Breezy Point 0 / 2.
Goalies-North Iowa, Skinner 6-0-1-0 (14 shots-13 saves). Breezy Point, Foster 1-9-0-0 (63 shots-52 saves).
Linesmen-Jake Caneff, Nicholas Seppala.