MASON CITY — Angry is about the only way to describe the North Iowa Bulls after Saturday night’s game vs. rival Granite City.
Whether it was being less than pleased, to put it lightly, with the late-game officiating, or losing a 3-1 lead in the second period, Saturday won’t be a day any Bull wants to remember after a 4-3 loss in overtime.
The reason for coach Todd Sanden’s frustration postgame was how the game played out in the final minutes.
North Iowa was forced to go a man down with 1:16 to play, and killed that off into overtime. Then, as Jarod Blackowiak exited the box early in OT, he was handed another penalty, which was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd, and some expletives from the Bulls bench. Granite City took advantage of the opportunity when Owen Sikich notched the game-winner with 1:36 to play.
North Iowa started the scoring in the first period when Cameron Fagerlee lit the lamp to put the Bulls up 1-0 at the 5:51 mark.
Granite City had its answer just over the midway point in the period when Grant Troumbly skated right through the Bulls’ defense to get a shot attempt right in the face of Collin Cain. The goal sent the teams to the first intermission tied 1-1.
The Bulls added a little flash to their game in the second period, starting with a goal by Jake Joyaux from above the left faceoff circle that found its way through traffic to put them up 2-1. Jarod Blackowiak increased the lead to 3-1 at the 10:23 mark when he scored his first goal of the season. Blackowiak fired a laser from the right faceoff dot to give the Bulls a score on the power play.
But like the first period, Granite City closed out the period with a little more fire than the Bulls.
Sikich brought the Lumberjacks within a goal on a goal at the 16:37 mark, and then Seth Towers tied the game on a 5-on-3 power play to send it to the final period tied 3-3.
“Undisciplined penalties,” Sanden said. “Stuff we talk about things you can’t do against good teams.”
Tyler Bump finished with three assists on the night for the Bulls, who are still yet to lose a game in regulation this season. Colin Cain stopped 30 of the 34 shots he faced.