North Iowa Alumni Land Conference Titles, NCAA Bids

MASON CITY, Iowa – The season will continue into the NCAA tournament for several North Iowa junior hockey alumni, and another alumnus saw his season end on a high note this past weekend.

39 North Iowa alumni are currently playing for NCAA programs, including four who will be playing in the NCAA Division III tournament beginning this weekend. St. Olaf College earned its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship since 2006 this past weekend, defeating Augsburg University 5-2 in Saturday’s MIAC championship in Minneapolis. Senior goaltender Colin Cain has appeared in two games for the Oles this season, posting a 3.77 goals-against average and taking a loss in his lone decision of the season. Forward Mitch Dolter has appeared in all 28 St. Olaf games this season, notching a pair of goals.

Cain is the winningest single-season goaltender in Mason City Tier III history, posting 27 victories during North Iowa’s 2017-18 Central Division regular-season championship campaign. Dolter scored more than 100 points during a two-year career in the River City, including 72 points that 2017-18 season. That mark ranked second on the team, and his 36 goals was the high-water mark for the Bulls that season.

The team they defeated in that MIAC final will also be heading to the national tournament – Augsburg heads in as the nation’s fourth seed and will enjoy a bye this weekend before facing either St. Norbert or the Oles next Saturday. Senior Jarod Blackowiak has played in all 28 Auggies contests this season, posting 12 goals and 12 assists. Sophomore Konnor Carlson has notched 19 appearances, with a goal in an early-season contest against Wisconsin-Stout.

Blackowiak posted 84 points during his two seasons in Mason City, and played briefly in the North American Hockey League for the Austin Bruins during the 2017-18 season. He played a key role in his 2018-19 team’s run to the Fraser Cup semifinals, posting nine postseason points. Carlson picked up 19 points in 35 games as a North Iowa Bull that season before finishing his junior career in Manitoba the following season.

A North Iowa fan favorite from the program’s Fraser Cup-qualifying 2018-19 team will not get to play in an NCAA tournament, but is wrapping up his first season out east with a conference championship. Jimmy McDermott notched two assists this season in 11 games for the Assumption University Greyhounds in Worcester, Massachusetts. His Assumption team held off Post University on Saturday, 4-3, to win its second Northeast 10 conference championship and finish the year with a school-record 16 wins. The NCAA does not sponsor a Division II national championship, as the Northeast 10 is the lone remaining conference to sponsor Division II hockey – all other Division II schools that sponsor NCAA hockey teams do so at the Division I level.

McDermott came to Mason City in 2018 to close out his junior career after two seasons with the Wisconsin Whalers – the Dubuque, Iowa native closed out his three-year junior run with 121 points, including 50 in his sole season with North Iowa. He played during the 2019-20 season for St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota before transferring to Assumption ahead of his sophomore campaign.

The Mason City Toros congratulate all of these former North Iowa junior hockey standouts, and wish them continued success as the NCAA tournament gets underway.