SJHL Battlefords North Stars win 13th in a row after wild 3rd period

The first thing I want to say is that I wish I hadn’t been so hard on the referee tonight. I do think he made some strange calls in the third period and some flat out bad calls. But he had a different view than I did and a couple of those calls were tough. The call on Keller was a bad one. I thought that was a clean hit. I haven’t seen a replay though so maybe I am wrong. I really hope Pereira turns out to be okay. He was clearly in a lot of pain and no one likes seeing players get hurt. It looked to me like their legs got tangled up on the hit and that caused the injury.

At one point on twitter I said that I had, “no clue what the calls were” and I want to be clear that I wasn’t taking a shot at the refs on that one. I meant that I literally didn’t know what all the calls were. A lot of penalties were being called and I couldn’t keep them all straight in my notes. But I will get to more on the third period a little later on.

The first period was all North Stars. They outshot the Wings 10-4 and scored twice. Early in the first Tim Rollins had a strong shift throwing a couple hits and creating a chance for Robbie Newton who hit the post. Newton has been playing great of late and he is going to score here soon if he keeps it up. Which is why I beaked him after the game in the hotstove. 5 minutes in and Travis Sparrow played a 2 on 1 very well which proved to be a big moment in the game. That’s because less than a minute later Tanner Schwab walked off the wall and snapped one past the blocker of Mitch Kilgore. A little over 3 minutes later it was 2-0. The Stars were on the power play and very fortunate to get the puck back after Woody Klassen, I think, fired a pass off a Wing and right back to the Stars. Two passes later Miller settled the puck in the slot and went in alone on Kilgore. Miller went to the forehand and got it up over the sprawling Kilgore.

The Red Wings did get a good chance late in the period after Graham Hildebrand made a save. There was a big juicy rebound in the slot but Tatchell cleared it away just before the Wings found the puck. The second period saw the Stars score two more quick goals. Roger Tagoona tipped a Zack MacLellan shot past Kilgore to make it 3-0. MacLellan had a real solid game tonight and his shots were all along the ice which makes them easier to tip. 1:46 later and the Stars made it 4-0 when Tatchell made a beautiful cross ice pass that Braeden Johnson converted for his 16th of the year. Later in the period and fortune smiled on the Stars again. This time on a delayed call to Curtis Toneff a shot from Struthers hit the post. Hildebrand never saw it. 33 seconds later on the Wings power play Hildebrand was forced to make a spectacular pad save. The Wings were starting to play a lot better at this point. Kilgore then made a fantastic save of his own on a Brett Miller redirection. The frame ended 4-0 North Stars.

In the third things got a little crazy. Brody Luhning stepped into one on the power play from the top of the face off circle. Nothing Kilgore could do about that. 5-0 North Stars at that point. A couple minutes later Sanderson was robbed by Hildebrand. That didn’t look like an important save at the time. Turns out it might have been though. Zack MacLellan was then hit a little high. He seemed to be okay after the game. Sam Williams got 2 and 10 for a hit to the head. 10 seconds later Sanderson had another great chance but again Hildebrand made the save.

That’s when things started to get interesting. Again I think the Keller hit was clean. But if the ref say it otherwise he had to make a call. And with Periera getting hurt he had to give Keller 5 and a game once he decided it was boarding. I think perhaps Dwight McMillan influenced the ref a little. He was angry about the hit and for good reason. His player was hurt. If it sounds like a criticism it most definitely isn’t. McMillan has to protect his players and it’s his job as a coach to do what’s best for his team. He’s a fantastic coach who has been around the block more than a time or two.

That’s when the fighting started. Toneff and Bruce got into it. They didn’t get any punches off so they went off for roughing. Toneff got an extra two out of the scrum and the Wings went to the power play. 22 seconds later Travis Sparrow threw a questionable hit and got jumped by Robert Wilkinson. I think Sparrow won the fight. I don’t like when guys throw punches after both players go to the ice and the linesman jump in. Sparrow threw 3. I have criticized other players for doing it and I want to be fair. Everyone seems to do it though so maybe it’s something I need to not worry about. Graham Hildebrand got 2 for unsportsmanlike during the fight. I don’t know why other than perhaps not moving away or perhaps he said something to the ref. I think the Stars thought that Wilkinson should have had an instigator penalty. It ended up with a lengthy 5 on 3 power play for the Wings.

Give Weyburn a lot of credit. They capitalized on their power plays. Jesse Ross is a slick player and he got the Wings on the board. Hildebrand made a couple good saves but Ross stuck to it and found a way to pop a rebound home. Tyler Borstmayer made it 5-2 with another power play marker and Jordan Hoffman scored a beauty to make it 5-3. The Stars were forced to call a time out to settle things down. The Wings were flying and the Stars needed to regroup. That’s when Mitch Kilgore stepped up. The Wings had taken a penalty to make it 4 on 4 and Kilgore absolutely robbed Miller on a 3 on 1. Tatchell set up Miller with a cross crease feed but Kilgore went post to post in spectacular style.

Weyburn pulled the goalie with a lot of time left as they needed 2 more goals but the Stars sealed it when Braeden Johnson set up Blake Tatchell for his 32nd of the year into an empty net.

What a whacky and wild third period. In hindsight the only call I really didn’t like was the call on Keller. I think maybe I was to hard on the official as I said above. I thought that maybe there could have been an instigator call on the fight involving Sparrow but I didn’t have the best view. And Sparrow could have been dinged on the hit so I guess that all evens out. My main criticism was that the ref was trying to take control of the game and I don’t think he needed to take control. But that’s not the worst thing in the world. Better that then not trying to exert any control at all. I don’t want this to come across as back peddling although that might be inevitable.

I do want to give a lot of credit to both teams. The Stars played a very strong game and they have now won 13 in a row. The Wings were down 5-0 and could easily have given up. But they didn’t. They kept fighting and took advantage of their chances. They got back within 2 goals because they didn’t give up. Credit to the coaching staff of the Wings as well. Dwight McMillan knows what he is doing. He was riding the ref pretty hard in the third and I think he was sending a message to his team that he wasn’t giving up on the game. His players didn’t give up either. I think I was very complimentary to this team in my pregame blog post. And for good reason. That’s the best team I have seen from the Sherwood. Not exactly going out on a limb with that comment because of the record they have this season but that will be a tough team to knock out come playoff time.

Mike Feeney’s Unsung Hard Working PLayer of the Game:
Tim Rollins. Helped set the tone with a wonderful first shift and was good throughout. He also did good work on the penalty kill. Robbie Newton and Boyd Wakelin were also very good. That line had a very hard working game.

Next up for the North Stars they look for win number 14 in a row tonight in Humboldt. More on that later.

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1 Comment

  1. I was very glad to see the the Stars came out hard and scored 2 goals in the first – and then glad to see two more in the 2nd – however, after much frustration because my computer and the radio station feed on the internet did not communicate – there were no updates on the online stats for over 15 minutes. All of a sudden a flicker here and wow the Wings got some penalties, and then another flicker and they also got 3 goals and a few more flickers and the Stars got a whole pile of penalties – then time ran out and it flickered several more times and hey wow the Stars got another goal. Happy with the outcome but frustrated with not being able to hear it on the radio. Might have to look at the posibilty of setting up an internet company that supplies the feed for all teams to broadcast to and then they are available at all times for all games. Anyhow, was less frustrated after reading your blog , and looking forward to the game tonight.


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