North Stars skid stretches to 3 after 9-1 Bombers demolition

The first period got off to a pretty good start for both teams. There was a tremendous amount of flow. Not a lot of whistles. A handful of chances for both teams. In fact I wonder how different the game would have been if Devin Buffalo hadn’t made a ridiculously good pad save to steal a goal from Kyle Hall. You just never know how big a moment like that is to the course of the entire game. The only real difference in the first was special teams. Brody Luhning was called for tripping after a hip check and the Bombers scored on the power play. Seconds after Roper missed the top corner by just inches. the Bombers opened the scoring. Dillan McCombie scored the goal and he would play a big role in the rest of the game. Later in the period Brandt Wheldon took a huge hack at Roger Tagoona and broke his stick. He was called for tripping as he did knock the Stars forward down. The Stars PP though wasn’t able to connect. With 2 minutes left in the first Kyle Hall, who had a very good first 30 minutes to the game, made a great rush wide on his man and then powered to the front of the net. Buffalo stopped Hall and then somehow kept Grayden Turner and Robbie Newton from jamming home the rebound. It was 1-0 Bombers after a pretty good first period for both teams.

In the second things got out of hand for the Stars. Less than 2 minutes into the frame the Bombers scored on the power play again. A Bomber pass went off a skate and right to Brett Penner who made no mistake. The Bombers were great all night at earning bounces and capitalizing on them. 4:19 into the period the Stars were back within 1 as Roger Tagoona scored on a beautiful set up by Hall. Aother great rush by Hall using speed to get wide on his man led to the goal. Hall firing across the crease to set up Tagoona who scored the Stars first goal in 7 periods and about 5 minutes. 3 minutes later Hall was buzzing again and with a little puck luck the Stars could have tied the game. 6 minutes after the Stars made it 2-1 the excellent Tagoona deflected a point shot just over top of the net. That was at the 10:28 mark of the second period and sometime around this mark is when the game went sideways for the Stars.

17 seconds after Tagoona’s tip just missed tying the game the Bombers made it 3-1. At the 10:45 mark McCombie found himself on a 2 on1. He held and shot himself low blocker on Creech and just inside the post. A perfectly placed shot and a bit of a back breaker. It has to be tough to feel like you are playing well and the bounces won’t go your way. But the Stars needed to stick with it and they didn’t. As tough as it is to say because I respect how hard this team works most nights and I know how much they care but it seemed like they started to pack it in once the breaks seemingly went against them. Perhaps that’s too simplistic an explanation. But it’s how it looked from the outside looking in.

3 minutes later it was 4-1 as a point shot from Clark was stopped as Creech saw the puck through all kinds of traffic. The rebound went right to a Bomber though and Balaski scored. It was 5-1 after 2 when a point shot was deflected by Cameron Blair past Creech. That was the end of the night for the Stars goalie. Graham Hildebrand replaced him for the last 2:29 of the second period.

Hildebrand came out to start the third and the Bombers were able to beat him 4 times. 2:17 into the period a shot was deflected bar and in by the Bombers. At this point you must have noticed that several Bombers goals were deflected in and the Stars missed a couple deflections. When people talk about puck luck this is what they mean. But the Bombers earned that luck. They got to the front of the net more, they did a better job of protecting their net and tying up sticks. They won battles. All those things add up over the course of the game and make it seem like one team was unlucky. Some luck will always play a part in a game. But it doesn’t decide the outcome.

Dillan McCombie came out of the box and scored on a breakaway to make it 6-1. The Bombers would score 3 more goals to round out a 9-1 win. The worst Stars loss of the season by a large margin. The Bombers are a good team but the Stars made them look even better. As I said before though there is no need to panic. The Stars will try and find a way to work their way out of this funk. I don’t doubt their character and determination.

The Bombers went 3 for 5 on the power play and another goal came before Woody Klassen could get back into the play. So special teams needs to be better for the Stars. Tanner Quinn fought again as he stepped up to fight Justin Schoffer after a questionable hit from behind.  Late in the game Travis Sparrow threw a hit that I thought was clean. But I had a terrible angle. I was almost directly above the play. A side view would tell more about where contact was made, if Travis left his feet and all of those types of things. The Bombers coaching staff, who I find to be one of the most approachable and honest, thought it was worthy of a suspension. Mike Reagan was quick to say though that the size difference between the two players may have played a role in the injury.

I have a feeling Sparrow will be missing some games in the near future. If nothing else Sparrow is wracking up the fighting majors.

The Stars now have several days to regroup before hosting Humboldt on Wednesday. That’s a big game for the Stars to set a tone before heading off on Christmas break.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill

     /  December 16, 2011

    Really, There were more costly turnovers by our d, goaltending was weak at best, and only one line was going, and im being nice.

    Reply

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