The Battlefords North Stars last loss came way back on October11th so it’s safe to say it was a foreign feelings walking off the ice last night without the 2 points.
But to be honest they lost to a very good Flin Flon team. Coach Mike Reagan has his team playing a very solid team game. The Bombers blocked a tonne of shots in front of their goaltender, maybe 20 blocked shots and maybe more, and their hard work earned them the victory. After the game the Stars Woody Klassen said it felt like a playoff game the way the two teams were putting their bodies on the line to scratch and claw for the win. I know the Stars coaching staff liked their game as well. Sometimes the breaks don’t go your way but if the Stars keep that kind of work ethic they will win a lot more than they lose.
The first period had to have been tough on both teams. There was a delay at the start of the game for some Remembrance Day Ceremonies which were well done and the moment of silence immaculately observed by the Stars faithful. The Stars came out pretty strong in the first frame and if not for Andy Desautels the Stars could have had an early lead. In fact the Stars looked good on a couple early power plays in terms of puck possession and shots directed towards the net. But they didn’t create a lot of clear cut scoring chances, the story of the game perhaps, and the Bombers capitalized when they got their first power play. Tanner Clark’s shot found its way off the pad of Connor Creech and into the back of the net.
Shortly there after a scary moment as Andrew Allan tried to hit Blake Tatchell but the Stars forward slipped the check. Allan crashed heavily and awkwardly into the boards and clearly lost consciousness for a time. With previous concussion issues in his past there were no risks taken as the Stars training staff and the EMT on hand called for an ambulance. The two teams went to their dressing rooms with 9:09 left in the first. Allan was taken to hospital and given a CT Scan and an X-ray. Again it was mainly precautionary and I hope to have more on his status at some point today.
Once the first period resumed the Stars continued to pump shots towards the Bombers net eventually tallying 15 shots on goal, and probably another 10 blocked, as the Bombers held on to end the first period up 1-0. The Stars effort was there but the sharpness seemed to be lacking a bit and that could be why they failed to create more chances.
The second period was a much better effort for the Bombers who scored early on through Brett Penner and they earned several power plays throughout the period as well. The Stars killed most of them but Travis Sparrow’s second straight cross checking penalty was too much to kill as the Stars got through a couple of 5 on 3 situations. But Brett Penner’s second of the period, this time on the power play, made it 3-0 heading to the third.
The Stars tried to come back but again the Bombers shot blocking and goaltending was strong. I thought Desautels was struggling a little with his rebounds but the Bombers D was on hand every time to clear the loose puck. Zack MacLellan was on The Rock this morning and he said the Bombers were just a little stronger in front of both nets and that was one of the reasons for their win. The Stars did get a late goal in the third with Connor Creech pulled for the extra attacker. Brody Luhning’s shot got through and beat Desautels with around 2:30 left but the Stars couldn’t find any more offense.
So the win streak is over at 9. But the Stars can start a new streak with a win tomorrow against Yorkton. That game is at the Civic Center at 7:30.
The Mike Feeney Unsung Hardworking Player of the Game Award:
Jay Young, Flin Flon
I will mainly be giving this award to a North Star player throughout the season. But I couldn’t give it to anyone else after last night’s game. Jay Young limped off after blocking a shot on 3 separate occasions. In total I would hazard a guess he blocked 6 or 7 shots. He forechecked hard and was a force in the game with his effort. Honourable mentions to Woody Klassen who threw a number of big hits and Tanner Quinn who I thought had a solid hard working game.