Period by period updates of Ice Wolves at North Stars

– Tatchell’s line starts against Carre’s line. Could be fireworks early. Sparrow and Kachur starting on D. Creech in net. Played well against Humboldt and gets the nod again tonight.

– Klassen gives Enns a shot they get tied up and Luhning is left to deal with a 2 on 1. Give and go. 1-0 Ice Wolves. 1:32 into the first. Ashdown with the goal.

– Keller line with Berg and Sheeran just got hemmed in their own zone. Iced the puck. Stars starting very slow here so far.

– That was the first goal the Ice Wolves have scored at the Civic Center this season.

– Miller with a good hit on Weisensel as Stars are changing. Keller took a bump to get that puck in deep. Tatchell then knocks down Wiesensel again.

– Nearly halfway through the first period and the Stars seem to be getting their legs going. Still trail by a goal but playing better now getting pucks in deep and getting to the forecheck.

Just as I finished writing that last note the Ice Wolves got caught flat footed with Miller and Johnson swarming and Brody Eisbrenner took a tripping penalty. First power play of the game to the North Stars.

– Not a great first man advantage. Not sure the Stars even got a shot through on Rajotte. Vandenameele had a good shot block in front off a Berg shot. That was about it.

– 7:20 left in first. Smerek just threw a good check on Kachur and knocked him down. Led to a point shot that was blocked by Samborski.

– Another power play for the Stars and Miller just got robbed. Back down feed from Ethier and Rajotte goes post to post. Enns in the box for 4 minutes. Took down Quinn as he was driving to box. Then punched him in the face in front of the ref after the whistle.

– 6:37 left and it’s 1-1. Ethier with the goal against his former team. Woody Klassen and Brett Miller with the assists.Rebound off the left pad of Rajotte went right to Ethier who made no mistake. Stars still on the power play.

– 5:15 left in first and it’s 2-1 Stars. Blake Tatchell with an unreal goal. Toe dragged the Ice Wolves defender as he rushed up the right wing into the Ice Wolves zone. Tatchell skates in on the goalie and from the bottom of the faceoff circle he waits for Rajotte to start to go down and then sniped top corner over the near shoulder. That’s sick.

– 4 minutes left in first and Rajotte stops Klassen on a partial breakaway. Klassen and Ethier have two points in this one.

– Rajotte was just way out of his net and Miller missed an open net from a very sharp angle. Didn’t miss by much from my view.

– Brett Hope with a very good hit on Travis Sparrow. Sparrow’s fine. Hope always seems to play well against the Stars. Not sure why he doesn’t play more against over teams. Bob Beatty knows more about hockey than I do though so…..

– 40 seconds left. Samborksi good work along the wall to steal and carry into La Ronge territory. Pass to Quinn rolls off his stick.

– Just before horn to end the first Sheeran belts Zerebecky. Ice Wolf forward didn’t see the hit coming. After a slow start the Stars got going. One of the better periods they played in a while in my humble opinion.

END OF FIRST

– Second period underway. Talked to a scout in the intermission. He’s here watching Tatchell amongst others. Tatchell goes out on first shift and hammers Weisensel down to the ice. Nice hit.

– Boyer just hit the post. Got clipped in the arm after and is shaking it off on the bench. 1″30 gone as Klassen steps into Enns. Good start for both teams physically in this second frame.

– Samborksi just got hammered down in front of Wolves bench. Back up and in the play. This game has some edge and intensity even if the crowd isn’t quite as into it yet.

– Just heard Travis Sparrow talking to Matt Sheeran on the ice. Nice to have 20 year old D men with experience on the ice. They are always talking to one another.

– Creech just got 4 for spearing Enns. Brett Miller is serving the penalty. Ice Wolves first power play of the game.

– Sorenson out on the power play for La Ronge. First time I’ve really noticed him out there tonight. His good point shot is stopped by Creech with the glove. Sorenseon still our there over a minute into first 2 of the power play.

– Tatchell just had a partial break short handed. Stopped by the blocker of Rajotte. Sorenseon was struggling to get back and get to Tatchell. Ended up doing just enough.

– 1:24 left in the power play and 13:22 left in the game. Hope just hit Tatchell WAY up high. Part of it is height difference. But still a pretty high hit. Newton looked like he wanted to go after Hope. Good discipline to take the power play. Interference is the call.

– Klassen just took down Enns who heads of slowly. Ice Wolves wanted a call.

– In part because of the call on Hope the Stars have killed off the Ice Wolves power play. The  PK tonight and last time out against Humboldt has looked lightyears better than it did against Nipawin.

– Creech just made a good save on Hope who was lying on the ice when Ethier skated by and looked to get a knee into Hope’s head. Not sure if it was accidental or not. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

– Klassen and Zerebecky into it behind the play. 10:10 left in the second period still 2-1 Stars. Wakelin heading off slowly.

– 9:56 left. Lots happening right now. High sticking the call on Klassen. Wolves back to the power play.

– 37 seconds left in the Ice Wolf power play and Hope takes them off the man advantage again. 2 for kneeing. Didn’t see it but Hope didn’t do much complaining.

– 7:47 left in 2nd. Klassen just hammered Carre from behind. Got jumped by Hladun. Hladun doing good work to stick up for his team mate. I’ll be honest I thought Carre turned at the last minute. Hladun looks to have gotten 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting and 10. Klassen gets 5 for boarding and a game and 5 for fighting. Stars are on a 4 on 3 power play for a minute then 4 on 4 for 30 seconds then a lengthy La Ronge power play.

– 7 left in 2nd and Rajotte just made a world class double save. Second one was filthy.

– 3 minutes left in the major to Klassen when the Ice Wolves get back to 5 skaters. 5:40 left in the period.

– Carre went down the tunnel after the hit. Hasn’t returned. Hladun appears to be icing his wrist. Stars PK looking very good. Ice Wolves not getting much going here with 1:30 left in the PP. 4 left in the period.

– Sick saves by Creech now. Good save on a deflection then gets his pad across to stop Boyer at least once. Somehow traps the puck under his right leg as he was sprawling. Creech now wracking up the saves on this penalty kill. Up to 17 saves now in the game. Had seen about 10 shots before the power play.

– Tagoona out of the box. He was serving the penalty to Klassen. So we are back to 5 on 5 with a little over 2 minutes left.

– 1 minute left in first. Bula throws a good hit on Tatchell and then seconds later ties up the stick of the Stars forward to prevent a chance. Rajotte makes a good save up high on a spinning Tatchell slap shot. Penalty now coming to the Ice Wolves late in the period. 13 seconds left. Eisbrenner heads off for a slash.

END OF SECOND PERIOD

– Just spoke with Woody Klassen and he said he “honestly tried to pull up when he (Carre) turned”. If Woody says it I tend to believe it as he is a very honest person and a good kid. Hopefully Carre is okay to continue in the game. Third period is now underway.

– La Ronge just got a breakaway straight from the puck drop and Brody Luhning took a slashing penalty so we are 4 on 4 for 1:40.

– Now Sheeran is heading off for roughing. Weak call. 4 on 3 power play for the Ice Wolves 19:36 left in the third.

– Carre back out there for the third with the Ice Wolves on an early power play he is manning the point.

– Kyle Hall started the 4 on 3 kill for the Stars just got a quick rest and right back out there. He is there go to forward when they only have 3 guys on the ice. Mitch Berg just made an excellent clearance as he batted a rolling puck all the way down the ice. Brief 5 on 3 for the Ice Wolves but they can’t get out of their own zone. Now 5 on 4 for 15 seconds.

– Stars PK has been lights out so far. Getting some help from a slightly disjointed looking La Ronge power play. Back to 5 on 5 and Creech has to scramble back into his net after turning the puck over. Got some help to keep the puck out.

– With Klassen kicked out of the game Dillon Forbes has dropped back to his natural position on defense. That’s one luxury of putting 7 D men in the lineup. 14:51 left in the third and a great shift from the Hall line. Didn’t get a ton of chances but controlled the puck in the offensive zone.

– Too many men on La Ronge with 14:40 left in the period. Luhning, Tatchell and Miller all with great chances. Spent the first 1:40 of the PP on the ice and most of it in the attacking zone. Rajotte stands tall.

– 12 left in the third. I don’t think Boyd Wakelin is on the Stars bench. Went to the bench slowly in the second and maybe hasn’t returned? Will try to find out more after the game.

– Kyle Hall and Brody Luhning just did great work along the wall in their own zone and Hall digs it free and finds Tagoona. Hall then busts all the way down the ice to the front of the Ice Wolves net. Pass from Tagoona went off a skate and away from Hall. Good hard working shift for the Stars second line center.

– Rajotte just made a pretty good glove save off Tatchell and Miller hacked the rebound just wide. Hladun was hit hard in the Stars end and stayed down. North Stars players think it was a dive. I know Hladun was icing his wrist earlier. Could be a recurrence of whatever was bothering him after the fight with Klassen.

– Rajotte is standing tall in the third so far. Has made 8 saves so far. A couple of them of the excellent variety. 7:20 left in the third.

– Sawyer just put a good low shot on net. Deflected by Tran in front and trickled just wide. Creech and Rajotte going nose to nose hear. Ice Wolves still down 1 with less than 7 minutes left to go.

– Cook went low on Miller with a good hip check and it led to a 2 on 1 for Tatchell and Johnson. Tatch dished it off and Johnny just missed. Enns then gets a rush the other way and Sheeran plays it well. Almost a breakaway for La Ronge but the Stars young D man angled Enns off well.

– 5:11 left and the Stars iced the puck. They have been out there for a while. Ethier looks out of gas. Stars coaches call a time out.

– After another 20-25 seconds in their own zone the Stars clear the puck. That was after Carre made some nice moves to set up Sorenson and Creech made a very good save.

– And that save from Creech is HUGE. Stars come the other way about 30 seconds after the save. Tatchell sets up Miller on a 2 on 1 and the Stars now lead 3-1. Tatchell with 2 points. Miller has been good tonight.

– Tatchell, Miller and Johnson come the other way again and Miller can’t beat Rajotte. Less than 3 minutes left to go.

– La Ronge can’t get the puck out of their own zone. 46.9 seconds left and they still haven’t been able to pull Rajotte. Down 2 they might not even bother now. Off an icing the Brody Luhning gets a shot on Rajotte who makes another good save.

– They did pull the goalie and Jordan Ethier scores into the empty net to seal it for the Stars. 3 point night for Ethier against his former team.

– One of the Ice Wolves just hit Forbes from behind after the whistle. I think it was Enns or maybe Hope.  It wasn’t the hardest hit in the world but with a second left in a 4-1 game the Stars didn’t like it.

– Enns was throwing punches into the scrum from behind the Refs and linesmen. Travis Sparrow was flat out LIVID. If he had been on the ice Enns would have been in trouble. Forbes is okay. Both teams separate and the Stars have won 4-1. Avoid their second 3 game losing streak of the season.

4-1 North Stars. FINAL.

Some final thoughts on the game tonight. I thought it was a nice physical game that had some questionable plays on both ends but for the most part I thought both teams were trying to play good physical clean hockey. That’s what I love to see. Both goalies were excellent tonight and if it wasn’t for Rajotte the Stars may have pulled away and sealed the game earlier than they did.

I thought it was pretty impressive that the Stars only allowed 4 shots in the first period. After giving up that early goal on the first shot of the game the Stars only allowed the Ice Wolves 3 more shots in the final 18:30 minutes of the period. Pretty good. The special teams play may have been the difference. The Stars capitalized on some Ice Wolf indiscipline and La Ronge didn’t make the Stars pay for their indiscipline.

Since Travis Sparrow came back from suspension the Stars have allowed 2 goals against La Ronge and Humboldt and just 46 shots. Connor Creech has been good in net so that helps but it seems like the Stars D is playing pretty well now that they have their captain back. Whether it’s always noticeable or not Sparrow makes a difference. The new look Stars defense with Sheeran, Berg and Kachur looks good so far. Dillon Forbes is a pretty good forward as well. He is the type of player that will do whatever is asked of him to help his team win.

As for La Ronge? It was certainly a much better effort than the game I saw in Humboldt. They had their moments and were certainly in the game for long periods but at times they really struggle to score. It’s a pretty big burden for guys like Carre and Boyer to carry. The goaltending and D seems to be there though so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them give teams trouble in the playoffs. They might be built for that style of game.

And the only other thing worth mentioning is the fact that there was at least 1 scout in the crowd again tonight. We’ve been seeing a lot of scouts at Stars games recently.

Mike Feeney’s Unsung Hard Working Player of the Game:
Kyle Hall. Didn’t get on the scoresheet tonight but I really liked his play. He is a really good penalty killer and that play where he won the puck battle along the wall and then busted hard all the way down the ice to the front of the net really stands out in my mind. That’s more like it for the Stars and the style they want to be playing.

That’s all for tonight as I have to get to bed. Check back tomorrow as I will try to get a Melfort preview up as soon as possible. That game is of course live on CJNB/CJNS.

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2 Comments

  1. Starsfan

     /  January 17, 2012

    loved the game tonight… I really like Sheeran.. hes a heck of a defenceman. Young, big and has god hockey sense, you can tell… I wonder what Bob thinks getting rid of Ethier… Hmm…

    Reply
  2. Yub-Yub

     /  January 19, 2012

    Fun game to watch. A lot of physicality. I would love a Stars/Ice Wolves series, I think that would just be a treat.

    On Hladun being down in the Stars end on that one play. He went to hit the D-man, who side stepped. Looked like Hladun got his feet in a weird spot and just went flush up against the boards/glass. Full speed and no way to cushion the impact. He hit hard, think he got winded.

    Reply

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