The Battlefords North Stars lost last night in Melfort 7-4 and are now one loss away from their season coming to an end.
The Stars came out flying last night and had a 2-0 lead less than 5 minutes in. Braeden Johnson got them going settling a hard back door feed in an instant before going to the backhand and beating Wilkins. A couple minutes later a loose puck came to Brody Luhning in the slot and he beat Wilkins over the glove into the top corner.
It was 2 goals on their first 2 shots and a perfect start. But Wilkins started making saves and the Stars couldn’t extend the lead despite having some chances. The Mustangs got a power play goal and it was 2-1 Stars after 1.
The North Stars dominated the middle frame. The second period was awful in game 1 and has been a struggle at times this season. The Stars sure corrected that. They out shot the Mustangs 22-6 and I can’t imagine Melfort had more than 2 or 3 scoring chances. But the game was tied 3-3 heading to the third. Logan Sceviour blocked a point shot and raced onto the loose puck for a breakaway. He beat Connor Creech low along the ice and through the 5 hole. That made it 2-2.
The Stars got the lead back when Austin Evans had a shot go off a stick or a skate and go past Wilkins. The goal created by Evans great skating ability and speed. That goal was late second and it looked like the Stars would take a lead into the third period. But the Mustangs wouldn’t go away. They had a shot blocked on it’s way to Creech and ricocheted right to Sloan. He settled the puck and fired it into the roof of the net. Creech tried to make the diving save but the deflection on the shot block made it almost an impossible save as he dove across the net.
So it was 3-3 heading to the third. And that’s when the wheels fell off. The Mustangs scored 3 goals in 10:47 to take a 6-3 lead. Kyle Schmidt scored to give the Stars some life. A point shot through traffic getting past a screened Wilkins. The Stars had replaced Creech with Casey Parker after the 6th goal and he was pulled for the extra attacker with 2 minutes left. But Melfort poked and hacked at a loose puck in the slot in their own zone and it ended up sliding all the way down the ice to wrap things up.
There were a couple fights in the game. Ben Greenaway went with Bryden Serafini at center ice in the third. Both guys just stood toe to toe and threw big right hands. Greenaway may have edged the fight but both guys were hurt. I think Greenaway it going to be okay. He was bleeding as he went off the ice. But I am not sure if the same can be said of Serafini. That may be the last we see of him this season whatever happens with the rest of this series. Brody Luhning then fought Zentner late in the third in a less spectacular but still entertaining fight.
So in the end the North Stars are down 2-0 in the Survivor Series and on the verge of elimination. There are positives to take from last night’s game. And there are negatives to try and correct. The Stars won’t panic as they have guys in that locker room who have been down before and found a way to come back.
I have a lot of faith in the Stars coaching staff and I know how much work the players have put in this season. So I believe they will come out with their best effort of the season on Monday. It will be incredibility hard for Melfort to eliminate the Stars. As we’ve seen anything can happen and Melfort is a good team. They deserve to be up in the series. But the Stars won’t go down without a big time fight.
Game 3 is Monday at the Civic Center at 7:30 and the Stars could use a big crowd to help them keep their season alive.
I will have the game live on CJNB/CJNS as well as online at http://www.cjnb.com