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Former Bulls forward Stang signs professional contract in Sweden

May 5, 2020
The North Iowa Bulls, proud members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), are excited to announce that alumnus Jack Stang has signed his first full professional contract, with the Stenungsund Stingers of Sweden's Division 2. The division, known as "Hockeytvaan," is the fourth level of professional hockey in that nation, and the same level where Timothy Santopoalo began his professional career last season with Svegs IK.
 
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NA3HL teams could usually count on being stung by Stang, whether it was with a flashy goal, a well-executed setup pass for an assist, or simply with a blistering bodycheck. His play with the St. Mary's University Cardinals in Winona, Minnesota led to an Amateur Try-Out contract and his professional debut in early March with the Southern Professional Hockey League's Evansville Thunderbolts. He played two games for the ‘Bolts and was in line to play a third game for Evansville before the SPHL and other professional hockey seasons were shut down.
 
He earned that deal after a monster senior season at St. Mary's, earning a spot on the MIAC all-conference team behind a career-high 27 points. His team-best 24 assists was the most for a Cardinal in more than a decade, and he finished just one point behind younger brother Tommy for SMU’s scoring lead.
 
His junior career was impressive as well, playing a full season for the North American Hockey League’s Brookings Blizzard and another half-season in Florida before joining the Bulls in time to win back-to-back national titles in 2015 and 2016.
 
“Jack is a real playmaker,” said the Stingers’ Mikael Holt in a post on the team’s Facebook page. “He has an awesome hockey eye and can find solutions to everything out on the ice. He is good at skating and has fine technique. In addition to these qualities, he is also good in the defensive game and has a hunger to get even better. Jack will make our powerplay and boxplay (penalty kill) better. We are very happy that Jack is continuing to develop with us.”
 
Stenungsund finished just 6-13-3 in Sodra A, the first portion of the Swedish Division 2 season, but nearly earned the only Hockeytvaan playoff spot out of the remaining group of eight teams. The Stingers and IF Molndal finished with identical records in the season's second stage, but IF Molndal finished with more overtime points to earn the playoff spot.
 
11 former Bulls suited up in the pros this past season, in six different countries. Former Bull Kevin Lopatto has spent the past two seasons in Sweden’s Division 1, one step above Stenungsund on the Swedish pro hockey ladder.
 
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