THIS WEEKEND’S GAMES:
FRIDAY – Granite City @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY – Granite City @ North Iowa, 7:30 p.m.
BULLS VS. GRANITE CITY ALL-TIME: 33-22-5
THIS WEEKEND’S PROMOTIONS: North Iowa returns home on Friday and Saturday night as we “Rock the Barn” against the Lumberjacks, courtesy of Coca-Cola and the Atlantic Bottling Company. Kids will be admitted to this weekend’s games for free, and kids of all ages can meet the Coca-Cola polar bear at Friday’s game. For a schedule of upcoming promotions, click here.
GETTING A DO-OVER: In order to win at least one of these two games, the Bulls will have to solve one of their trickiest puzzles in recent memory – Granite City goaltender David Mulligan. The Mounds View, Minnesota native has faced North Iowa six times in his career, including all three games on the Lumberjacks’ home ice this season – and won all six. This season, he’s surrendered just two goals a game to North Iowa.
STAYING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY: Once in a while, the Bulls have to go through a three-game losing skid – a sweep at the hands of the Lumberjacks, however, would mean virtually uncharted waters for the three-time NA3HL champions. North Iowa hasn’t lost four in a row since the very genesis of the franchise. The Bulls dropped their first five games in the 2011-12 season before finishing 29-15-4, and have not lost four consecutive games since.
A TOUGH ONE: Wins against Granite City have been tough to get, but the Bulls have a real opportunity at home this weekend. The Bulls snagged a win and an overtime loss in their only two meetings in Mason City in 2017-18. The Lumberjacks have only lost eight games this season, including two in overtime. Every one of those losses has been by just one goal – in fact, Granite City has gone 53 games without a loss by more than a single goal. The last team to do it: North Iowa, in Sauk Rapids, last February 9, by a 4-1 count.
TOP PROSPECTS: North Iowa will be well-represented at the NA3HL’s Top Prospects showcase in Attleboro, Massachusetts on February 18 and 19. Four Bulls players – Peter Verstegen, Joey Petronack, Jimmy McDermott and Ivan Bogach – were selected for the two-day event. Head coach Todd Sanden will also be part of the West Division coaching staff. He has been selected as a Top Prospects coach in each of the Bulls’ eight years as a member of the NA3HL.