MASON CITY, Iowa – A weekend off is supposed to be a time to kick back and relax, unless you’re looking to make an impression on the scouts and audition for your next big break in the sport.
Three North Iowa players got that chance this past weekend, during the Bulls’ off week. It’s the first of two weekends that the team will have away from the ice before the end of February.
Newcomer Owen Carlson will have his first chance to appear for the Bulls this weekend, but the goaltender has already put on a United States Hockey League jersey after landing a call-up to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders as an emergency backup. Carlson traveled down to the City of Five Seasons on Thursday before suiting up Friday and Saturday against the Des Moines Buccaneers. Carlson joined the Bulls last week after spending three seasons playing for Cloquet High School in Minnesota, and has also appeared in NAPHL competition for the Minnesota Wilderness 18-and-under squad.
Forward Lucas Wahlin made his first appearance for the Kenai River Brown Bears during their three-game weekend in Janesville, Wisconsin, and immediately made good on his 2020-21 tender agreement. Wahlin scored a first-period goal Friday in a 5-4 loss to the Jets before going off for two more goals in the third period of Saturday’s 7-2 Kenai River victory. It was his second stint in the NAHL this season, after landing a call-up from the Jamestown Rebels during the Thanksgiving week. He played five games in as many weeks before returning to North Iowa early last month.
Defenseman Daniel Eckerline made his return to the Minnesota Magicians lineup this past weekend, playing in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Chippewa Steel. Eckerline is expected to remain with the Magicians after being recalled from the Bulls this past week.
Almost 50 players have suited up for NAHL teams after spending time on the North Iowa roster, with eight eventually landing spots on NCAA Division I rosters. Carlson is one of a handful of North Iowa goaltenders to earn an emergency call to the USHL, and Joe Daninger received that same call from Mark Carlson’s team over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Lucas Wahlin and Owen Carlson on their call-ups this past weekend, and also congratulate Daniel Eckerline on his recall to the NAHL. The Bulls thank Eckerline for his brief service on the North Iowa roster, and wish him the best in his return to the Magicians.