SJHL leading Battlefords North Stars win 9th in a row

The Battlefords North Stars picked up a 5-2 win over the Melville Millionaires for their 9th straight victory.

Brody Luhning opened the scoring on the power play less than 2 minutes into the game. It was the start of a very good night for the Stars PP unit and the first of 4 points on the night for Luhning. Tatchell and Woody Klassen assisted on the goal. More on those two later as well. The first 7 or 8 minutes for the Stars was very good. They were outshooting the Mills 8-0 at one point but Melville is a very good team and they got things cranked up as the period went on. The Stars took some penalties and got away from their game plan. Coach Hasselberg after the game suggested perhaps they got away from their identity a little as well. They aren’t the kind of team that gets on the refs and complains about calls. They want to focus on controlling the things they can control and not worrying about what they can’t control.

The Mills eventually turned their strong play into goals. Russell Trudeau scored again. The young forward that was acquired from Steinbach has been unreal since coming to the SJ and is averaging 2 points per game. Ian McNulty picked up an assist on the power play marker for Trudeau that tied the game. Ian Christensen also got a helper. McNulty is the Mills top scorer and he helped himself to a goal later in the period. McNulty did most of the work himself as he took his own rebound behind the net and scored on the wrap around. That made it 2-1 after the first.

In the second the Stars got back to their game and blew Melville away. They outshot the Mills 19-6 in the middle frame and scored 3 times. Blake Tatchell tied the game on the power play at the 7:35 mark with assists to Klassen and Luhning. 15 seconds later the Stars took the lead. Almost straight from the faceoff Kyle Hall rushed the puck up the wing and passed cross crease. The puck went off a Melville stick or leg and beat Blake Voth. The Stars never looked back after that. Braeden Johnson took a beauty cross ice feed from Woody Klassen later in the period and beat Voth with a one timer. The goal came at the end of an incredible shift for the top line as they controlled the puck in the offensive zone like it was on a string. Johnson had already hit the post earlier in the shift.  4-2 Stars heading to the third.

The North Stars are now 16-0-0-1 when leading after 40 minutes of play. Blake Tatchell scored again to seal the game in the third. It was another power play marker as the Stars finished the game 3 for 5 on the man advantage. Tatchell’s pass was behind Johnson so he couldn’t shoot but Johnson kept his composure slid the puck back to Tatchell who roofed a back hander.

So Luhning finishes the game with 4 points. Klassen had 3 assists. Tatchell had 2 goals and an assist. But it was a total team effort. It’s hard to describe that in a blog. Strong shifts where a line controls in the offensive zone or a great back check, Kyle Hall had one that stands out, aren’t always easy to remember the way goals stand out in the mind. But every line contributed and played well. Especially in the second and third periods. I thought Jared Samborski had a strong game and threw several good hits. Dillon Forbes stood out as having a pretty solid game. So did Toneff. That’s the problem, and it’s a good problem to have, when a team plays this well for most of the game but it’s the same guys seemingly getting all the points. It’s hard for me to accurately describe how well everyone played. So I will just say that every guy had a strong game and you will have to take my word for it. The final shots were 37-23 for a total of 60. I think I mistakenly announced the wrong winner in the shots on goal contest on air. I will fix that tomorrow.

So the Stars for the second time this year will look to win 10 straight games. They will make that attempt in Yorkton against the Terriers and I will have it for you on CJNB/CJNS. More on that tomorrow.

Mike Feeney’s Unsung Hard Working Player of the Game:
Ryne Keller. Had a solid effort and was playing sick. Runner up awards to Travis Sparrow in his return from injury who was quietly good and to Robbie Newton for similar reasons.

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4 Comments

  1. Barb

     /  December 3, 2011

    You have a coach that loves his job and the players respect him ,so you have a winning team! Port Alberni Bulldogs miss him!!!

    Reply
  2. Starsfan

     /  December 3, 2011

    Yes Kevin is a class act.. Hes a tremendous motivator and gets the most out of his guys.. Glad to see the stars doing so well.. Hopefully they havent peaked at the wrong time.. Also I heard you say on your broadcast last night that there was a scout there from an American School. And you didnt know who the scout was after.. Just so you know, it cant be any of the guys on the team that has played in the WHL. Playing even 1 game in the WHL disqualifies a player from getting an NCAA scholarship.. Just thought I would point that out. Great Blog, keep it up.

    Reply
  3. Could be the scout just wanted to see a good hockey game, or mayhap one of the Melville players, they have some good ones too. I can only say, “Go Stars, Go!!!” – Good game, good team effort! Love the way all the lines are doing their part. It is often not the player who scores that has the turning point or points, but the energy and the tenacity of lines like the Monster Line – hey every line is a Monster Line on this team at this point. Go Team.

    Reply
  4. Matt Ryan

     /  December 3, 2011

    Another interesting fact, is that Woody Klassen is 10th in defencemen scoring, with 14pts, in only 11 games. Alot less than his competition. No question him and Brody are the class of the d men in the league

    Reply

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