Battlefords North Stars finish home stand with win over Kindersley

I keep forgetting to do this. Tonight’s music (I’ve used them before and I will again): The Faces.

The Battlefords North Stars have now won 3 games in a row against Kindersley since an opening night 5-1 loss. Finishing up a 5 game home stand with a 5-1 win the Stars have now gone 9-1-0-1 in their last 11 games.

Well you have to say the Kindersley Klippers came out with a game plan tonight. They wanted to be physical and see how the Stars would respond and they certainly tried to play the body as much as possible in the first period. But it was a North Stars hit that sparked a fight. Ryne Keller threw what looked like a clean hit, at the very least it wasn’t from behind it was from the side, but the referee saw it as a penalty. And Brett Blatz saw it as a bad hit as well. He went into the ensuing scrum, pulled Keller out and introduced his first to Keller’s face. Give Keller credit for not turtling and standing in their as best he could. He was giving up 7 inches and 50 pounds to Blatz. The Stars also lost a player midway through the period as Brett Miller was given 2 for a check from behind and a game misconduct. I thought personally the game misconduct was very questionable. It looked to me, and a lot of fans who stopped me in the intermission, that Zane Morin perhaps embellished the hit a little. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t. I don’t really want to impugn a young players character. Perhaps he was just stunned by the hit before regaining his faculties. Never the less I thought kicking Miller out of the game was harsh.

The Stars were outshooting the Klippers and generally out playing them when they ended up on a 5 on 3 late in the first period. Brody Luhning hit the outside of the post with a good shot that I thought had picked the top corner. Kyle Hall was stopped in tight by Justin McDonald on his second good chance of the period. And Brody Luhning hit the post again with 2:33 left in the period. The Stars ended up outshooting the Klippers 13-3 in the period but were unable to score.

In the second frame the Stars dominance continued right from the puck drop as Blake Tatchell’s line controlled play in the offensive zone and it was only a matter of time before the pressure would pay off. Tatchell with a nice backhand pass to set up Braeden Johnson who made no mistake. Johnny’s first of the game and it wouldn’t be his last. Despite the Stars strong game Graham Hildebrand was called into action in the second frame making a great pad save just after the goal. The Klippers managed 7 shots in the second frame and they eventually scored. A 2 on 1 developing in the neutral zone with Colby Daniels keeping, shooting and scoring glove side. Just the Klippers 8th shot of the game but it was 1-1 with 4:41 left in the period.

37 seconds later Tatchell found Johnson out front in the slot again and Johnny snapped it home scoring what would turn out to be the game winner. It was a great forecheck from Tatch who hit David Haaf behind the net, stripped the puck and found Johnson. So it was 2-1 after the 2nd period and the Stars were outshooting the Klippers 32-10.

The third period was more of the same. Kyle Hall had a good chance early in the period but was unable to score. Hallzy and his line actually had a very strong game. He was playing with Tagoona and Schwab and they generated a lot of good chances. By my count Hall himself had 7 scoring chances. If he keeps playing like that the flood gates are going to open soon enough. Ryne Keller, who was sporting a fat lip and a new jersey after leaking during his fight, salted the game away when he scored on a wrap around to make it 3-1. I thought his line with Samborski and Quinn was perhaps the Stars most physical line and Tanner Quinn had a number of good hits. About 20 seconds later Braeden Johnson was jawing with David Haaf when the Klippers D man shed his gloves and started punching Johnny. Give the Stars a lot of credit, as the coaching staff did after the game, for staying composed and disciplined. Johnson didn’t respond and Haaf ended up getting a double minor for roughing giving the Stars a 4 minute power play.

During the power play an accidental high stick caught Blake Tatchell up around the eye and he was cut. He did return to the game and was lucky to not have been more seriously injured. The Stars ended up with a 5 on 3 while Haaf was still in the box and it was Braeden Johnson who took advantage sniping his hat trick goal high glove side from the right face off circle. Tim Rollins picked up his 3rd assist of the night on the power play marker. The Stars eventually got another power play goal when Blake Tatchell scored a beauty to finish the scoring. The game kind of petered out at that point and the Stars finish a stretch of games where they played on home ice 10 out of 11 times with 9 wins and 19 out of a possible 22 points.

Woody Klassen picked up a couple of assists tonight as he and Brody Luhning, who had an assist, played together for the first time this year and looked solid. The Stars actually had their best 60 minute effort of the season in my opinion and they also responded very well to the physical play of the Klippers which is an aspect of their game I was wondering about. Not many teams have really made it a point to really test the Stars physically and I liked how they responded. The final shots on goal were 46-18 which tells a lot of the story. Graham Hildebrand somewhat quietly had a solid game.

Mike Feeney’s Unsung Hard Worker of the Game:
I think the name of this award might be changing every time. Tonight it goes to Ryne Keller. No surprise there as Ryno scored a goal, had a fight and despite a fat lip continued to play a physical game sticking his nose in wherever he could.

Honourable mention to pretty much the whole team.

Next up a Southern road trip. 3 games in 3 nights. Starting Friday with Weyburn. The entire 3 game road trip will be live on CJNB/CJNS. And make sure you tune into 93.3 The Rock tomorrow morning for the Rock Star. I think it is going to be Blake Tatchell. Perry always has a good time when the guys come into the studio so tune in from 7-9.

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2 Comments

  1. Starsfan

     /  November 16, 2011

    I am confused… According to your recap Tatchell was accidentally high sticked and caught Blake Tatchell up around the eye and he was cut. He didn return to the game. He did return to the game… how did he score if he didnt return to the game???

    Reply

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