SJHL: Nipawin Hawks defeat Battlefords North Stars 6-4

I’ve decided I am going to tell you what band I am listening to when I am writing these posts. I am not sure why I decided that. But here goes.

Tonight’s Blog Music: We Were Promised Jetpacks


I apologize for the lack of a game preview today. I moved to a new house and the internet here isn’t hooked up. I should have known that WordPress, who graciously host this blog, have an iphone app. There’s always an app for whatever I need. Also, I can apparently use my phone to access the internet on my laptop as well. So problem solved. I wasn’t even planning on writing this recap blog as I have been up for a lot of hours and as I mentioned I moved today which was hard work. But I ordered food and I am waiting impatiently for it to arrive.

The Battlefords North Stars player of the Month for September was awarded to Boyd Wakelin prior to puck drop. Well deserved after the way Boyd has played so far. Including of course two game winning goals. After the presentation Wake’s line got things started. And it was a decent start for the Stars until the 4:15 mark when a bad change allowed the Hawks to transition quickly and get a break away. Tad Kozun making no mistake. The first shot Graham Hildebrand saw was in the back of the net. That mistake in the neutral zone leading to a Nipawin scoring chance thing? That would be a theme of tonight’s game. The Stars second line had a really nice shift going around the halfway mark of the period but were unable to score. Not even two minutes later the Stars had a power play. Michael Lambert a little unlucky to be called for tripping as he dug for a puck in the skates of Boyd Wakelin. 22 seconds. That’s how long it took the Stars struggling PP to get on track. A Brody Luhning shot hitting at least two bodies on its way into the net. Brett Miller was given credit. His first of the year. Hopefully that open the flood gates. Wakelin, who drew that PP, then took a penalty. He was called for interference in the neutral zone. The Stars PK got off to a good start,Kyle Hall with a good shot block, but a Stars turnover in the neutral zone lead to a partial 3 on 1. Adam Reichert making no mistake. Captain Dan Szerlip and Mitch Doell with assists. Late in the first Blake Tatchell found Tanner Schwab at the side of the net and Schwab re-directed the puck just wide. He maybe should have scored.It was 2-1 after the first.

My food just arrived so I am going to have to make this quicker. In the second the Stars gave up a very early goal. Travis Sparrow stepping up in the neutral zone and not getting the puck or his man leading to a scoring chance for the Hawks. Hildebrand making the initial, and at least one more on the rebound, before the Hawks eventually jammed the puck home. At exactly the 5 minute mark a Hawk turnover was on the stick of Braeden Johnson but not for very long. He found Tatchell all alone at the side of the net and it was game on. But only for 16 seconds. That’s all it took for the wind to get sucked out of the crowd’s sails. Justin Waskewitch getting a step on the Stars D and blasting home a clapper down the wing and past Hildebrand. The goals were flying in and the Stars were next. 51 seconds after the Hawks goal and 1:07 after Tatchell’s goal Tim Rollins was found by Johnson and went in alone. Rollins fired it home blocker side. 4-3 Hawks the score after the break away marker. Robbie Newton took an elbowing penalty that may have been slightly harsh and the Hawks were back on the PP. And back in the goal column. The Stars failed to clear the puck roughly 6 times before the Hawks finally beat Hildebrand. He had done all he could to keep Nipawin at bay but the puck kept coming back at him. Waskewitch scoring again. The goals finally stopped going in every 30 seconds and the game settled down. The Stars had a couple of good PKs late in the period and into the third. The score was 5-3 heading to the third.

The first goal of the third was a very lucky bounce for the Hawks. Similar to Miller’s first goal Hawks forward Brady Zerr spun and fired a puck about ten feet wide. But it hit a North Star and bounced into the yawning cage. As the game wore on I thought the Stars looked stronger and stronger. Their PK got going as they dealt with a tripping penalty to Dallas Jorgensen. Not long after HIldebrand made a very nice save to keep the Stars in it Davis Jones in the Hawks net went one better. He absolutely robbed Blake Tatchell on a cross crease pass from Johnson again. The Stars picked up a power play and a goal not long later. Brett Miller with a nice re-direct, intentionally this time, to make it 6-4. Tyler Paslawski took a late cross-checking penalty but the Stars PP, even with the net empty for a 6 on 4 advantage, couldn’t get anything going and the game ended 6-4.

The Stars got better after the first. But turnovers cost them dearly. The Hawks quick transition game too much for the Battlefords on this night. Puck management, to borrow coach Hasselberg’s phrase, needs to be better. We will find out if it is tomorrow in Melfort. A game you can catch live on CJNB1050AM or I will have the pregame show at 7:15. Puck drops at 7:30.

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