Melville Millionaires meet North Stars tonight at Civic Center

The North Stars host Melville tonight at the Civic Center and it will be their first look at the Millionaires this season.

Melville have played roughly 3 less games than every other team in the league and they look to be catching up here in the next few days. They are at the start of a stretch that has them playing 6 games in an 8 night stretch. Tonight is night two of that run. They played in Kindersley last night and Blake Voth got the start. He was traded to the Millionaires by the Stars for Roger Tagoona. Voth was good allowing just 1 goal against on 33 shots. Melville are led offensively by Ian McNulty. He has 29 points in 19 games. That’s a points per game rate that is higher than Blake Tatchell which illustrates just how good McNulty has been.

The other player to watch is Russell Trudeau. He was acquired in a trade on the same day Melville picked up Voth from the Stars. The Millionaires sent Mark Owen and goalie Zach Rakochy to Steinbach of the MJHL for Trudeau. Some people thought it might have been too much to give up for one player but Trudeau has been outstanding since arriving in Melville. He has 5 goals and 7 points in just 3 games so far for the Millionaires. If Wakaluk and Voth give them elite goaltending, and there’s no reason to think they can’t, the Millionaires seem to now have the offense to beat a lot of teams. Once they make up their games in hand they could be near the top of the Sherwood division and are definitely a team to keep an eye on.

As for the Stars? Well not too much needs to be said at this point. We know how good they can be when they play the style that the coaching staff wants them to play. We also know that their special teams can be very hit or miss. The Millionaires penalty kill is the second worst in the league coming into tonight’s game killing penalties just 78% of the time. So perhaps tonight will be a chance for the Stars to get their power play back on track a little.

It’s been strange because the PP was bad to start the year but the Stars knew it was early and that once they got everyone settled into their roles it would get better. And they worked on improving the PP in practice as well with Coach Atcheynum putting some wrinkles into the power play that seemed to really work and get the Stars on track. But the last few games the power play has gone back to really struggling at times. It is down now to 8th in the league. I know the coaching staff wants to see more energy and effort on the power play and I am eager to see how it looks tonight.

The Stars have just 1 point from their last 2 games. But they still have more points in the last 10 games than anyone in the league. They can still finish this 5 games home stand 3-1-1 if they win their next two games. And they are still the top team in the league. So there is a lot going for this Stars team. But we knew they were going to have speed bumps along the way. A little adversity here and there. That’s hockey. The only really effective way to get over adversity is to work hard and work smart. The Stars will look to get back up to full speed tonight at the Civic Center at 7:30.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill

     /  November 12, 2011

    What do you think? Hopefully a win tonight


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