North Iowa Bulls Article

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North Iowa Bulls
City Mason City, Iowa
League NA3HL
DivisionCentral
Founded2011
Home arenaNorth Iowa Ice Arena
ColorsBlue, green, white
              
Owner(s)Bill Yuill, CEO Consolidated Sports Holdings Inc.
General managerTodd Sanden
Head coachTodd Sanden
Website www.northiowabulls.com

The North Iowa Bulls are a Tier III junior ice hockey team in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL). They play their home games at the North Iowa Ice Arena in Mason City, Iowa. The Bulls play a 47-game regular season schedule which includes a three-game showcase, as well as a postseason. The Bulls are coached by Todd Sanden, who has been with the team since their inception.

History

The Bulls began playing in 2011, [1] losing their first game to the Chicago Hitmen, 3–1. North Iowa would earn the franchise's first win on October 2, 2011 with a 5–4 win over the Peoria Mustangs. The Bulls would improve as their inaugural season went on and would finish with a record of 29–15–0–4 for a second-place finish in the West Division. The Bulls would win their first round series over the Twin City Steel two-games-to-none. In round two, the Bulls faced the Granite City Lumberjacks and traded overtime victories in the first two games. The Lumberjacks would take the winner-take-all game three by a score of 3–2.

In their next season, the Bulls would go on to win their first division championship. They dominated the regular season and finished with a 41–4–1–2 record. They swept the Minnesota Flying Aces three-games-to-none in the first round of the playoffs. They then advanced through the round-robin of pool play game at the Silver Cup Tournament to face the Lumberjacks once again, with the winner advancing to the championship game. The Silver Cup semifinal game went to over time and the Bulls won 3–2. In the Silver Cup Championship, the Bulls would go up against the Peoria Mustangs and NA3HL Goaltender of the Year, Michael Parda. The Bulls would chase Parda in the first period and win in a landslide 11-0 for their first Silver Cup Championship Title. [2]

After winning the NA3HL championship, the Bulls advanced to the USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championships. The Bulls would go 3–0 in their pool during the round-robin tournament. They then faced the Helena Bighorns in a semifinal that lasted into the second overtime period before the Bulls won. The Bulls then won their first National Championship over the Twin Cities Northern Lights with a 6–2 victory at the Rochester Recreation Center in Rochester, Minnesota. [3]

In their third season, they would go on to set an NA3HL record with 90 points as they finished with a league best 45–3 record and their second straight West Division title. The Bulls set many league records with Matt Kroska setting the record for points in a single season with 122 and Rihards Marenis for goals with 55. After sweeping the Twin City Steel in the first round of the NA3HL playoffs, they once again met with the Granite City Lumberjacks. After splitting the first two games of the series, the teams played a final game 3 at the North Iowa Ice Arena. 14 goals would be scored in the deciding game with the Bulls winning 9–5 and advancing to their second straight Silver Cup Tournament. The Bulls then outscored their opponents 24–4 over the next four games. They defeated the Flint Jr. Generals 3–0 to win their second straight Silver Cup.

The 2014 USA Hockey Tier III National Championships would be held in Simsbury, Connecticut. North Iowa again went 3–0 in the round-robin, defeating the Florida Jr. Blades, Dells Ducks, and Boston Bandits. The Bulls would then defeat the Northern Cyclones 5–1 in the semifinal game. The Bulls then met the Boston Junior Bruins of the USPHL Premier Division. The Bulls would end up losing the championship 1–2.

In 2014–15, the Bulls had a record of 6–4 through the first ten games on the road. The team returned home, and then won 11 straight games. The Bulls and Lumberjacks stayed on top of West Division throughout the entire season, leading up to the final weekend series between the two teams to end the regular season. North Iowa would go on to win the game and clinch their third straight division championship. For the third time, the Bulls would face the Twin City Steel in the playoffs and North Iowa would sweep the Steel in just two games. In the West Division finals against the Granite City Lumberjacks, each team would win their game on home ice forcing another game three. Due to the wild card qualifier set up by the NA3HL that season, the loser of the game would still make the Silver Cup Tournament. The Bulls won the final game 4–2. In the round-robin, the Bulls defeated the Lumberjacks, West Michigan Wolves, and the Great Falls Americans. The Bulls would face their rival, Granite City, for the third time in the 2015 playoffs in the title game. However, the Lumberjacks would end up winning the game and ending the Bulls' bid a three-peat.

The Bulls still advanced to the Tier III national championship as the league runners-up in Simsbury, Connecticut. The tournament was split into an "A" and "B" division with the Bulls in the "A" Division with the Granite City Lumberjacks, Dells Ducks and Northern Cyclones. The Bulls would go 2–1 in the tournament, losing only to the Lumberjacks once again. The Bulls still advanced to the title game over the Lumberjacks due to a higher score differential. The Bulls would then win their second national championship over the Northern Cyclones, 2–1.

Season-by-season records

Season GP W L OTL PTS GF GA Regular Season Finsish Playoffs
2011–12 48 29 15 4 62 172 156 2nd of 4, West Div.
4th of 16, NA3HL
Won Division Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Twin City Steel
Lost Division Finals, 1–2 Granite City Lumberjacks
2012–13 48 41 4 3 85 297 114 1st of 5, West Div. Won Division Semifinals, 3–0 vs. Minnesota Flying Aces
2–0–0 in Silver Cup round-robin
(W, 5–0 vs. Jr. Generals; OTW, 3–2 vs. Lumberjacks);
Won Silver Cup Championship game, 11–0 vs. Peoria Mustangs
2013–14 48 45 3 0 90 334 92 1st of 5, West Div.
1st of 21, NA3HL
Won Division Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Twin City Steel
Won Division Finals, 2–1 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks
3–0–0 in Silver Cup round-robin
(W, 7–1 vs. Jr. Stars; W, 7–0 vs. Jr. Blues; W, 7–3 vs. Jr. Generals)
Won Silver Cup Championship game, 3–0 vs. Flint Jr. Generals
2014–15 47 37 9 1 75 245 109 1st of 6, West Div.
2nd of 31, NA3HL
Won Division Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Twin City Steel
Won Division Finals, 2–1 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks
3–0–0 in Silver Cup round-robin
(W, 7–4 vs. Lumberjacks; W, 2–0 vs. Wolves; W, 6–1 vs. Americans)
Lost Championship game, 2–3 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks
2015–16 47 42 2 3 87 301 63 1st of 5, Central Div.
1st of 34, NA3HL
Won Division Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Rochester Ice Hawks
Won Division Finals, 2–0 vs. La Crosse Freeze
2–1–0 in Silver Cup round-robin
(W, 6–2 vs. Quake; W, 4–1 vs. Americans; L, 3–4 vs. Ducks)
Won Silver Cup Semifinal game, 4–3 OT vs. Twin City Steel
Won Silver Cup Championship game, 4–1 vs. Metro Jets
2016–17 47 35 10 2 72 268 111 1st of 5, Central Div
8th of 48, NA3HL
Won Division Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Rochester Ice Hawks
Won Division Finals, 2–0 vs. La Crosse Freeze
2–1–0 in Silver Cup round-robin
(L, 2–4 vs. Quake; OTW, 3–2 vs. Jr. Senators; W, 8–4 vs. Sharks)
2017–18 47 39 4 4 82 304 92 1st of 5, Central Div
2nd of 42, NA3HL
Won Division Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Wausau RiverWolves
Lost Division Finals, 0–2 vs. La Crosse Freeze

USA Hockey Tier III Junior Hockey National Championship

Year Round Robin Record Place Semifinal Championship
2013 [4] W, 5–2 vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs ( EmJHL)
W, 7–0 vs. Bellingham Blazers ( NPHL)
W, 5–1 vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights ( MnJHL)
3–0–0 1st of 4
National Pool
OTW, 3–2 vs. Helena Bighorns ( AWHL) W, 6–2 vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights (MnJHL)
National Champions
2014 [5] W, 5–0 vs. Florida Jr. Blades ( USPHL-Empire)
W, 5–1 vs. Dells Ducks (MnJHL)
W, 11–2 vs. Boston Bandits ( MetJHL)
3–0–0 1st of 4
Pool C
W, 5–1 vs. Northern Cyclones ( EHL) L, 1–4 vs. Boston Junior Bruins ( USPHL-Premier)
2015 [6] W, 3–1 vs. Northern Cyclones (EHL)
W, 2–1 vs. Dells Ducks (MnJHL)
L, 3–4 vs. Granite City Lumberjacks (NA3HL)
2–1–0 2nd of 4
Div. 1
Not played W, 2–1 vs. Northern Cyclones (EHL)
National Champions

Alumni

The Bulls have advanced a number of players on to higher levels of junior hockey like the North American Hockey League, as well as NCAA Division I, NCAA Division III and ACHA college programs.

Division I

References

  1. ^ "NA3HL approves Mason City, Iowa membership". NA3HL. May 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "North Iowa Bulls crowned 2012-13 NA3HL Silver Cup Champions". NA3HL. March 30, 2013.
  3. ^ "JUNIOR TIER III: NORTH IOWA BULLS CHARGE TO NATIONAL TITLE". USA Hockey. April 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "2013 Tier III Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "2014 Tier III Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "2015 Tier III Junior Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "Aaron Davis' Elite Prospects Profile". Elite Prospects. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  8. ^ "Coulee Region forward Florian makes NCAA DI commitment". North American Hockey League. May 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "Bay State Breakers '92 goalie Greg Ogard commits to Denver". SB Nation. July 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "FORMER BULLS STAR SATO SPEEDS OFF TO NEW HAMPSHIRE". North Iowa Bulls. April 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "New Hampshire Receives Commitment From Japanese Player". College Hockey News. April 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "Northeast forward Sato makes NCAA DI commitment". North American Hockey League. April 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "GO EAST, YOUNG MAN: SOLOW COMMITS TO MERRIMACK, HOCKEY EAST". North Iowa Bulls. January 18, 2017.
  14. ^ "NAHL Defenseman Jeff Solow Will Join Merrimack For Second Half". The Mack Report. January 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "Amarillo defenseman Solow makes NCAA DI commitment". North American Hockey League. January 18, 2017.

External links