North Iowa forward Blackowiak earns NAHL call up
December 5, 2017
North Iowa Bulls and NA3HL forward Jarod Blackowiak has been on a tear for the Bulls since debuting with the defending Central Division champs in early October. Most of his early contributions were made in a setup role, posting assists in four straight games before he got his first goal Nov. 11 against Granite City.
The setup man has become a true closer for the Bulls’ forward lines, putting away six goals in his last five NA3HL appearances. After a red-hot 10-game stretch in Mason City, Blackowiak headed back to the North American Hockey League this past weekend, returning for a weekend with the Austin Bruins. He appeared in Friday night's game at the Bismarck Bobcats, a 3-2 Bruins win.
Blackowiak played in two games at the NAHL Showcase for the Bruins in September, including a goal against the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-17 squad in a 4-3 loss.
The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native made a name for himself in the league headlines last week, earning the NA3HL’s Bauer Star of the Week award for the Central Division. He followed up a four-goal weekend against the Rochester Ice Hawks prior to Thanksgiving with a three-point weekend during the holidays against the Wausau RiverWolves.
The Bulls and Bruins have built strong ties to each other over the last several years, including a handful of call-ups to Austin and the occasional preseason matchup. Blackowiak rejoined a former North Iowa forward on the Bruins’ roster – Dominic Skrelja notched 15 points in just eight games early this season before being recalled in mid-October.
Bruins head coach Steve Howard has also built ties to the North Iowa organization, calling up two goaltenders to the USHL during his stint as an assistant coach with the Waterloo Black Hawks. Zack St. John was called to the Cedar Valley to practice with the team during its Christmas break in 2015, and Josh Benson served as a backup for a pair of games with Waterloo last season.