The Battlefords North Stars came from behind against last night to pick up a 5-4 shootout victory over the Melfort Mustangs.
It was a penalty filled game and special teams eventually played a major role. The Stars going 2 for 11 with the man advantage.
Jesse Gerbig scored his first goal in the SJHL, as did Ryne Keller, and Gerbig added an assist as well. His line with Jared Kambietz and Robbie Newton was strong throughout the night. The Mustangs had built a 3-1 at one point in the second period thanks to strong play from Kyle Threndyle and Bo Lenard, who each had 2 points, but Keller got the Stars within 1 and Dillon Forbes scored on a power play to tie it at 3. It was Forbes second PP goal of the season. The Mustangs got one back, a goal starter Jared Knott would like back, but Boyd Wakelin stepped up to score a huge goal for the second game in a row. Knott was beaten along the ice at his near post and you could see he was very unhappy that he didn’t stop the shot. But to his credit he bounced back and made a couple of huge saves, including a great double save, to ensure his team picked up 2 point. You could also tell he was VERY happy with Boyd Wakelin’s game tying goal.
Much like Saturday’s game winner in Kindersley Wakelin was alone in the slot, Breaden Johnson found him and Boyd roofed the puck to tie the game at 4 with about 5 minutes left. That goal came on a 5 on 3advantage and the Stars remained on a 5 minute power play for just about the remainder of the game but were unable to capitalize. No scoring in OT, thanks in part to Knott’s great save, and we were headed for the shootout that CJNB’s own Matty Ryan has asked for prior to puck drop.
And once againWakelin stepped up. He scored the only goal in the shootout for either team and the Stars win 5-4. Jared Knott picked up his first victory as a North Star. Assistant coach Blair Atchenum likes the character the team is showing. I talked to him after the game and he was happy with the abililty to come from behind but said the Stars don’t want to make a habit of falling behind.
Seems like Boyd has defenitely taken steps forward and is developing into one of the top 3rd liners in the entire league. Melfort head coach Gavin Holcomb to his credit refused to blaim the officials despite the Stars getting 11 power plays. He also wouldn’t use fatigue as an excuse. I was very impressed with him after the game. With a coaching staff that is willing to hold the players accountable the Mustangs are in very good hands.
The Stars now 2-1 despite Kyle Hall and Blake Tatchell’s slow start to the season. Once those guys get going, and they will, this could be a very fun team to watch. They just need to find a way to play well before they are down 3-1.
Next up for the Stars? They face La Ronge on Saturday at the Civic Center. La Ronge was pounded 7-1 last night by Humboldt.