MASON CITY — Coming out of high school, Matt Dahlseide was a player Todd Sanden had his eyes on.
The North Iowa head coach and general manager liked his skillset, but Alexandria beat the Bulls to the punch by drafting him.
Fast forward to this week with Alexandria getting ahold of Sanden asking if he was interested in arranging a trade for Dahlseide. Of course Sanden jumped at the chance.
Dahlseide arrived at practice on Thursday, then was worked into a line with Peter Verstegen and Dan Sandvig in Friday’s game vs. Wausau. The results were better than expected as Dahlseide recorded two goals and two assists to help the Bulls blast the RiverWolves 11-1.
“I knew coming in that the team was a lot more skilled and I felt like that fit better toward my game style,” Dahlseide said. “Coming in (Thursday) in practice was great, and then I was fortunate enough to be put on a line with two guys who work really hard — Dan Sandvig and Peter Verstegen — and we just went out there and dominated tonight.”
Even though the Bulls had to give up Bryceton Butkiewicz, who was having a nice season of his own, to acquire Dahlseide, Sanden still couldn’t pass up the potential.
“I think the style of play that Matt comes here with is very suitable to our style,” Sanden said. “We’re obviously geared more offensively and that’s the kind of player he is. You look at him jumping right in and I felt he played with a lot of poise tonight making plays. He’s been here two days but he already looks like he’s been here all year.”
For North Iowa, it was about persistence on the offensive end in Friday’s game.
The Bulls racked up nearly 20 shots in the first period before they got their first to go in when Connor Clemons scored on the power play at the 17:16 mark. Less than a minute later, Verstegen netted a goal of his own to send the Bulls into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Wausau finished the first period with two shots on goal.
North Iowa wasted no time expanding on its lead in the second when Verstegen tallied his second of the game 44 seconds into the period. Brendan Studioso added the Bulls’ fourth just over a minute and a half later to give them plenty of cushion.
The teams traded goals before the period would expire and North Iowa was in full control, up 5-1 after two periods.
The Bulls continued to pour it on in the final period as they tallied five more goals, including the two by Dahlseide. Clemons added two of his own to finish with a hat trick, and Cameron Fagerlee tallied the other.
The line of Dahlseide, Verstegen and Sandvig combined for nine points on the night. It was the perfect start for Dahlseide in his North Iowa debut.
“For me, I feel like the strongest part of my game is passing and being able to play with better guys like this opens up so much more opportunities for me and other players,” he said.