MASON CITY — When the North Iowa offense is as on as it was Saturday night vs. Central Division rival Rochester, look out. And when its angry after a tough loss last weekend vs. Granite City.
Led by the line of Mitch Dolter, Josh Arnold and Brendan Studioso, the Bulls cruised to a 9-1 rout of the Icehawks to secure the weekend sweep. North Iowa outscored Rochester 16-1 on the weekend.
“I think it helped some guys get some confidence,” Dolter said. “Last weekend goals were more rare, but this weekend we got after it and we tried to throw more up on the board.”
That line was a large reason why the Bulls were able to open up an early lead.
After Cameron Fagerlee scored his 11th goal of the season and extended his scoring streak to 18 games at the 7:15 mark in the first period, the trio of Dolter, Arnold and Studioso went to work.
Dolter scored his first of the game off a rebound on a shot by Arnold just over the halfway mark in the first. Studioso also assisted on the goal. After a Rochester goal, Dolter tallied his second of the night at the 17:26 mark which also came off a rebounded shot, this time by Studioso. Arnold had the second assist on the goal.
Arnold found a goal of his own 6:43 into the second period when he went 5-hole on Schenkenberg on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Jarod Blackowiak, Peter Verstegen and Alex Timm each added a goal of their own to send the Bulls into the final intermission with a 7-1 lead.
Dolter added his final goal in the third period on the power play to complete the hat trick. Studioso and Arnold assisted on the goal. Blackowiak added one more for good measure to give the Bulls their ninth.
Dolter, Arnold and Studioso combined for 12 points in the win.
“It’s always nice to come out in front of these fans and throw up a hat trick; they love it,” Dolter said. “But this was just a good weekend for the team. We needed this.”
Collin Cain picked up the win in goal for the Bulls after stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
North Iowa travels to Wausau next weekend.