40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
North Stars Record: 16-13-0-2
Last game recap – The North Stars beat Weyburn 2-1 in a shootout to pick up their 8th win in a row. That’s also their 7th win in a row here at the Civic Center.
The Stars outshot the Wings 16-6 in the first period. It was a period with very few whistles, no penalties and a pretty good pace. Some of the fans I spoke with thought it was a little scrambly at times. But coach Hasselberg was happy with his team’s game. He was full of praise for the way they stuck to their structure. And he said it was similar to a playoff style game with few chances at either end of the ice.
The Wings went roughly 8 minutes of the second period without getting a shot on net but by the end of the period they had fired 12 shots at Darren Martin. He stopped them all. Martin had an excellent game in net and deserved the win. Rylan Parenteau at the other end was just as good. But the North Stars should have scored in the second period. Igor Leonenko hit the post with a lot of net to shoot at on a nice move to the backhand. Leonenko was frustrated as he went to the bench.
In the third the North Stars opened the scoring. Parenteau is an active goalie who likes to play the puck. He does get himself in trouble sometimes though. And when he and one of the Wings defense collided there was a loose puck behind the net. Blake Young was there pressuring and he stole the puck and got it out front to Dillon Forbes. Forbes made no mistake to open the scoring.
Later in the third the Wings got a power play when Reed Delainey took a late swing at a Red Wing after a whistle. It was pretty soft compared to a lot of the stuff that the ref had let go earlier when he wasn’t calling any penalties. But it was a power play for the Wings and they scored. Martin made a great initial save with his left leg but the rebound was popped home to tie the game.
Both teams had a power play after that but neither could score and the game went to OT and then to a shootout.
Latrell Charleson shot second for the Stars and he said he saw room 5-hole during the Stars first shot by Jack Petrino. So Charleson went to the 5-hole and scored. Darren Martin stopped all 3 Weyburn shooters and the Stars picked up the win.
- Previous Meetings: The North Stars beat La Ronge 3-2 in their most recent meeting in La Ronge. The Stars got goals from Brenden Heinrich and Ryne Keller in the first period to lead 2-0. It was 2-2 in the third when Dillon Forbes scored the game winner. Darren Martin picked up the win. Earlier this year the Ice Wolves won 5-4 when the Stars were in the midst of that 7 game losing skid. And they hadn’t won at home at that point either. Forbes, Fountain, Keller, Erickson, Schmidt and Young all have 2 points in 2 games against the Ice Wolves this season.
- Early Stars: The two teams will be a little out of their normal routine with this early start. Puck drops at 5:30 here at the Civic Center. The Stars will just move up their preparations by a couple of hours. Not much else really changes. Hopefully the guys got a good night sleep after their win yesterday. For La Ronge it’s a little tougher as they were in Kindersley last night. They didn’t get to sleep in their own beds and they have to bus to the game. Their pre-game will be important.
- New Look: The Ice Wolves have made a lot of moves of late. Their most recent trade sent the Duret brothers to Estevan in exchange for Tanner Clark and Hudson Morrison. Morrison had a great season last year but has been struggling a little this year. Clark is a top D man who was in Flin Flon last year. He’s offensively gifted and solid in his own zone. The Ice Wolves now have several great scoring lines with Beauregard, LaClare, Sagen, Morrison, Agner-Bouchard, Landon Robin, and Jared Iron. The Ice Wolves also have former North Stars Joren Johnson on D.
- Struggles: The North Stars have their struggles at the start of the year when they began the year 4-12. We know what has happened since. It has been the opposite for La Ronge. They started the season with 6 straight wins. At one point they were 7-1. They are 3-10-1 in their last 14 games. Hence the trades as they look for a winning formula. They’ve got talent on that roster though and they have the look of a team that will put it together soon and get back into the win column with regularity.
- Goals: The Ice Wolves are one of the top teams in the league in terms of goal scoring. They have also let in the most goals in the SJHL this season. So there could be a lot of offense in this game.
- Even: The North Stars are 10-10-0-1 in their last 21 games against the Ice Wolves going back a couple years.
- Nine: With a win today the North Stars would tie the second longest winning streak during the Hasselberg era. Two seasons ago the North Stars won 9 in a row. They also had a 13 game winning streak that season.
- Ice: There was a midget AA game here this morning at 11. Then Midget AAA Stars are playing Tisdale as we speak. The ice here at the Civic Center gets a lot of use but that’s 3 pretty intense games in a row. It will be interesting to see how the ice holds up and how it affects the game.
Some Keys for the Stars:
1) Focus – With the recent trades that La Ronge has made they have several lines that can score. Their top line is potent but the Stars will have to be alert at all times.
2) Capitalize – The Ice Wolves have losses in their last 5 games where they scored 5 goals and 6 goals. So they can be vulnerable in their own zone. When chances are created, or presented, the Stars need to finish them off.
3) Face-off – The North Stars have been great in the face-off circle this season. It’s one of their real strengths. And when facing a team with offensive fire power like the Ice Wolves one of the ways to limit their effectiveness is to limit who much they have the puck.
North Stars Lineup:
Erickson – Schmidt
Fransoo – Charleson
Robin Yew – Lacoursiere
Fountain – Petrino – Forbes
Young – Delainey – Leonenko
Regan Yew – Keller – Greenaway
McMillen – Reich – Evans
Scratches: Quinn (sick), Heinrich (sick), McColgan