North Stars get another crack at Nipawin

First things first. The music inspiring this blog post is: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

The Battlefords North Stars will host the Nipawin Hawks for the second time this season at the Civic Center tonight at 7:30. The Stars have also faced the Hawks twice on the road this season. And so far Nipawin have won all 3 meetings. The Stars did manage to pick up a point in a shootout loss in Nipawin back on October 4th. But the Hawks are responsible for 3 of the Stars 5 losses this season. The Stars are 9-2 in games against everyone other than Nipawin while the Hawks are just 7-2-1 in games against the rest of the league. So the Hawks grasp on first place in the Bauer is very much due to their performances against the Stars. Including an empty netter the Hawks have won the 3 games by 4 goals and a shootout winner. So in other words these two teams are very close and tonight’s game should be very good.

The Hawks play an uptempo style hockey and they are very opportunistic. They also have great goaltending. Tad Kozun’s brother Taran is a goalie who had been with the Kamloops Blazers but has since been sent back to Nipawin. They already have Klein and Jones which is one of the top goaltending tandems in the SJHL. It’s a situation not unlike the Stars own “problem” between the pipes. Two good goalies providing very good tending. And now the Hawks have a third option in net.

The last time these teams met was a Hawks win on home ice. 4-2 the final but it was sealed with an empty netter. More on that goal a little later. The Stars were very good in that game. They played a strong road game and outshot the Hawks 17-7 in the first period. The fact that Battlefords didn’t score a goal in that period is perhaps what cost them the game. If they had popped a goal or two home that game may have been a different story. But it wasn’t. The Stars ended up outshooting the Hawks 42-34 over the course of the game. As I mentioned though the Hawks are very opportunistic. And they capitalize on mistakes incredibly well. Nipawin got goals from Doell (2), Lambert and Kozun in that game.

Tad Kozun’s was an empty netter. It sealed a big win over a rival. Tad Kozun is a rookie and his exuberance isn’t a bad thing. But to me there is a difference between enjoying the game and celebrating a big win and taunting the other team. And I thought Kozun crossed that line. I know the Stars weren’t overly happy with the celebrations. They don’t need extra motivation and they need to focus more on the game than any lingering feelings of anger over that incident. But I guarantee they haven’t forgotten that empty netter.

So it all sets up very well for a fun night tonight at the Civic Center. I spoke with coach Hasselberg this morning and he said amongst over things that the team is focusing on what it has to do to be successful and less on what the Hawks will or won’t do. The coaching staff did and will admit though that they are excited to play the SJHL’s top team and to get another crack at this Hawks team that the Stars feel they can beat. They’ve shown they have what it takes to outplay the Hawks now they just have to do it over 60 minutes.

By the way some of you have been asking me about the new players on the Stars roster.

Jacob Daughtry. He was playing in Winkler for former Stars coach Ken Pearson. The Stars traded for him because the coaching staff like what he can bring as an energy guy who will finish his checks and will kill penalties. Daughtry is about to turn 18, is listed at 6’3 185 pounds and is a Victoria, BC native. The Stars gave up Tyson Stoewsz to get him. Winkler ran into a situation where they had one too many import players.

Matthew Sheeran. Sheeran is also a big kid. He is listed at 6’4 185lbs and Coach Hasselberg called him a good mobile D man who can move the puck. He is another Victoria, BC kid as well. He was playing Junior B and Coach Hasselberg saw something he liked so he brought Sheeran into the Stars fold. Sheeran is also a right handed shot which will help balance the Stars D out a little if/when he gets in the lineup. That won’t be anytime soon though as he is rehabbing from offseason surgery and won’t be available until sometime late November or early December at the earliest

I don’t know if Daughtry will be in the lineup this weekend. But the games are both on the radio tonight so you can find out. Bring your radio to the Civic Center and tune into CJNB/CJNS at 7:15 and I will have the pregame show.

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1 Comment

  1. Starsfan

     /  October 21, 2011

    Quick question… Voth was released today from the USHL. the stars hold his rights. Will he come back or will the stars trade him???

    Reply

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