The Stars host the Humboldt Broncos tonight here at the Civic Center. The North Stars are 1-1 so far in preseason action not including their rookie game win over Kindersley. This is the Broncos first preseason tilt. These same two teams will go head to head tomorrow night.
The Stars are a little banged up right now with a few veteran players dealing with injuries. Here is tonight’s lineup.
I will have updates right here throughout the game. So keep refreshing the screen or check back in frequently to stay up to date on tonight’s contest.
1-0 North Stars – Stars came out a little slow first shift but then took over. Relatively young team but they’ve played a few games Broncos look like they are adjusting. Plenty of early power play time for both teams. Stars score short handed with Fransoo in the box. Jackson Bond on the rush gets it in front. Great work from Rusty Axtman to find the lose puck and beat Humboldt’s goalie.
2-0 Stars – 7:46 left in first. Shots are 14-4 Stars. Jordan Townsend just slipped a check along the wall then walked into the face off circle and beat Quentin Abrams with a snap shot far post, glove side. Perfectly placed shot.
6:57 left in 1st. Big hit from Robin Yew in nuetral zone. Broncos find lose puck though and Tremblay makes his first real good save of the game.
6:19 – Another good save from Tremblay then stops a deflection that didn’t have much pace to it. Pushing and shoving in front. Sych into it with Lund.
5:45 left – Another good rush up the off wing for Townsend. This time his low shot to the far pad is stopped. Stars just missed the rebound before it was cleared.
5:15 left in first and the Stars are short handed again. Otto Mitchell off for slashing.
2-1 North Stars – Broncos get one back on the power play. Deflection in front on their 10th shot of the game. Just 3 seconds let in PP when the puck went in. Greg Moro with the goal for Humboldt.
That’s just the second goal Tremblay has allowed so far in the preseason. One was a 2-0 where he made the first save but couldn’t get the rebound. That was a deflection on a power play. He’s been really good so far.
36 seconds left in first – Bond for the Stars off for slashing. Broncos Connor Scott off for cross checking. 4 on 4 to end the period and start the second.
9.4 seconds left Goal. 3-1 North Stars. Connor Sych steps into the puck in the high slot and blasts it past Abrams. Stars take a 3-1 lead into the second period.
Humboldt looked at times like a team that was playing it’s first exhibition game of the season. Stars a half step quicker. See if the Broncos can adjust in the second. Shots after 1 are 22-11 North Stars.
Stars come out strong in second period and jump out to a three goal lead.
4-1 North Stars – Nick Fountain great work along the wall. Finds Rusty Axtman behind the net. His quick feed out front finds Otto Mitchell and he finds the back of the net.
14:40 left in second – Stars short handed. Redding to the box.
13:12 – Back door feed almost finds Michael Korol, who plays midget in town with the AAA Stars, but he misses the target. Partially fanned on his one timer. Broncos still on the PP.
12:30 left in second – Redding out of the box. His line with Townsend and Nachtegaele has looked good.
12:11 left – Stars to the power play. Chance in the slot for Holinaty. Slashed as he tried to shoot.
Another line that has looked good. O’Sullivan, Saharchuk and Bond start the PP.
11:26 left – Stars power play buzzing. Delayed penalty coming. Couldn’t score. But now have 1:16 on 5 on 3 time.
10:20 left in second – Chance after chance for the Stars but Abrams some how keeps them at bay. First penalty over. Stars still on the PP.
9:30 left – Great PK from the Broncos tying the puck up in the corner. Looks like they’ll survive that 5 on 3 but the Stars had chances to extend the lead.
Goal 5 -1. Just after PP expired. Kendall Fransoo from the point. Cubbon and Holinaty draw assists.
8:12 left – Want a good shift after a goal. Send out Redding, Townsend and Nachtegaele. Each guy with a hit. Redding with more than one.
5:44 left – Looks like Tremblay is going to get the whole game. Still in net. Still looking really sharp. Shots are 34-18 North Stars. Tremblay with 17 saves so far.
4:33 left – One of those “how did that not go in” moments. Saharchuk, Bond and O’Sullivan create a chance. Puck bouncing around the slot goalie all over the place. Puck stays out.
1:24 remaining in second – Stars with a couple good shifts back to back. First Saharchuk’s group then Mitchell’s. Shots 39-21. Score is still 5-1 North Stars late in second.
End of the second period.
5-1 North Stars with the shots now 39-23 Stars. Lots of guys having strong games so far. Ryne Keller filling in on D always fits right in. Great versatility that he brings to the Stars. Offense from unlikely sources? Fransoo and Sych both with goals. The Stars got plenty of offence from the D last season. That’s always a bonus that teams don’t necessarily bank on. Lots of guys who may be on the “bubble” for lack of a better expression are having good games. The battles for spots in various roles is heating up.
10 seconds into the third and some fireworks. Bronco forward dumps Connor Sych into his own goalie. Kendall Fransoo did not like it. Guys pair off. Looks like Fransoo and Lund in the box. Fransoo now escorted down the tunnel. 5 minute major on the board to Fransoo. Lund gets 2. So 4 on 4 for 2 minutes then Broncos get 3 minutes of PP time. Redding and Korol also in the box.
18:34 left in third – Sych off for roughing. Broncos 4 on 3 PP then brief 5 on 3. Then more power play time. Refs trying to get through every power play scenario tonight? Maybe call less penalties? Just a thought.
17:35 left – Good save. No rebound. Tremblay again sharp. 1:02 left in 5 on 3. If Stars kill Sych penalty the Broncos will still have over a minute and a half of power play time to go. Doing all of this without Fransoo and Sych. Keller playing D. Big test for the Stars here.
16:33 left – Sych out of the box. Still Broncos on the PP. Stars need a whistle. 3 D on ice. Keller, McKinlay and Saharchuk out forever.
16:16 – Stars can’t clear. Goal. Broncos make it 5-2. Still on the PP for 1:27.
14:20 left in third – Finally back to 5 on 5. Broncos got 1 but Stars PK pretty good all things considered.
13:38 left in final frame – Stars buzzing. Several saves from Hargreave. Vermeulen a good hold and shot. Shots evening up a little though. 45-31 Stars. Those powerp lays helped Humboldt get a lot of shots.
10:09 left – Fountain sets up Axtman but he misses. Then Robin Yew blasts a loose puck just wide.
8:21 left in 3rd – Nice chip from McKinlay almost sends in Mitchell. He’s hooked. Stars to the power play.
6:58 – Great set up from Bond. Finds Townsend with a drop pass. Shot was saved.
6:27 – Bond tripped at the blue line. Looked like another soft one. Stars get 7 seconds on 5 on 3.
5:29 left – Fountain looking sharp on the PP but can’t score.
4:27 – Stars don’t score on either power play. But still lead by 3 with under 5 to go.
Goal 6-2. - Logan Nachtegaele off the rush beats the Bronco goalie over the shoulder. Robin Yew with the lone assist.
Good shift late from Cubbon, Holinaty and Regan Yew.
Late penalty to Redding. Couple minutes for charging. Just 8.4 seconds left though.
Another strong effort from the North Stars. Lots to like so far in this game. Only about 5 or 6 returning guys in the lineup for the Broncos. And they haven’t played a game yet in preseason as I mentioned earlier. They just started camp on Friday in fact. But all the Stars can do is go out and play their best and so far they have done that. Preseason results don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. But great to go 2-0 on home ice in exhibition play. And you’d always rather go into the season with momentum and positive results to fall back on.
Should mention that although the Broncos had a young looking lineup the Stars were without Statchuk, Erickson, Smith, Heinrich, Weston, Leonenko, Delainey and McMillen. Not exactly a veteran lineup filled with returning players.
That’s it North Stars win. 6-2 the final score. Same two teams go at it tomorrow night in Humboldt as the North Stars will wrap up their preseason.