Hockey Bulls vs. La Crosse  11

North Iowa vs. La Crosse in the second round of the NA3HL playoffs last season

CHRIS ZOELLER, The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — Go to the North Iowa Ice Arena on a Friday or Saturday in the winter to watch the North Iowa Bulls play and you’ll see about as passionate of a hockey crowd possible.

Win or lose, Bulls fans always bring the party to “The Barn,” and it’s part of the reason the Bulls are who they are today.

“I think it starts with the town. Mason City, Clear Lake and the North Iowa area community supports it so tremendously,” North Iowa coach Todd Sanden said. “Just that commitment the community makes and the fan base support — leading the league in attendance for six years — the corporate support and the sponsorships we get.

"There are very few teams at the level who have this sort of setup, and you can’t take it for granted. We have to work hard every day and I think that’s what helps us keep our expectations high and keeps us where we are to maintain a high level. There’s nowhere else out there like this community for this team.”

NEW LOOK

Last season around St. Patrick’s Day in March, the North Iowa Bulls busted out some new uniforms — as they do for special weekends. They liked the look so much that it’s here to stay. The Bulls rolled out a new logo along with new team colors — Green and Blue — this summer.

SILVER CUP NO MORE

The Silver Cup is something that comes up in every conversation with Bulls players or staff on the only goal that matters in a season. This year, the trophy will have a new name, the NA3HL announced this week. The trophy now presented to the league champion will now be known as the Fraser Cup in honor of Robert ‘Fraser’ Ritchie, a long-time staff member of the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL. On June 10, 2017, Ritchie passed away peacefully with family at his side after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

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