The Battlefords North Stars lost for the first time this season against the Weyburn Red Wings. The Wings were hosting their parents and billets weekend so they were clearly fired up for this contest and they were also out to prove that they could beat the Stars.
The Wings led after the first period of play despite what appeared to be a pretty even period. The only goal of the first frame was scored by Coltyn Sanderson on a bit of a broken play. Give a lot of credit to Sanderson for battling the puck to the front of the net and eventually pulling the puck around Connor Creech on the back hand and sliding it home. The Wings forward was battling the puck almost the whole play but stuck with it to eventually score. The Stars D won’t be happy with the play though. Too many guys were drawn to Jesse Ross and no one really made enough of an effort to knock Sanderson off the puck or onto his read end.
The Stars were much better in the second frame as they started to do a better job of getting pucks down in deep and getting the body on the Weyburn defense. I was particularly impressed with Tim Rollins and his line mates as they used their speed to get in on the forecheck and wreak havoc. It didn’t lead to a goal for Newton, Schwab or Rollins but they certainly had a strong game. Schwab was noticeable using his speed several times to get to the puck first and win battles along the wall. The Stars tied the game when Roger Tagoona, who has been pretty good lately without enough rewards, got something for his effort. Roger was along the near-side boards at the outside hashmarks and seemingly falling down. But he threw the puck on net and somehow it went under Kilgore. The Weyburn goalie had a very strong game but that was a bad goal.
Early in the third the Stars had their first lead of the game. Brody Luhning did a great job to hold the line and get a shot through towards the Red Wings net. Kilgore made the save but Braeden Johnson hacked the rebound past Kilgore. It was the Stars only lead of the game and it didn’t last long. 26 seconds to be exact. Jordon Hoffman was excellent all night along with Miguel Perreira and Sam Williams on the Wings second line and it was Hoffman who tied the game. From his knees Hoffman had a couple whacks at the side of the net before calmly lifting the puck past Creech. The Stars goalie, as well as captain Travis Sparrow, was livid that the goal was allowed to stand. They thought the net was off it’s moorings. At the time I speculated on a couple of different reasons for the anger as I didn’t have a great view of the play. But Hoffman and the Wings won’t really care because they tied the game and that’s really all that matters.
The third period was pretty even with both teams having chances and both teams having power play opportunities. The Stars PP couldn’t get much going all night and that was something coach Hasselberg was not happy about after the game. With just under 3 minutes to go Jack Kennelly scored what stood up as the game winning goal. A Braden Kmita shot from the point hit Sparrow and was deflected right to Kennelly at the side of the net. He managed to slide the puck along the ice and past Connor Creech before the Stars goalie could get all the way across and up against the post. It was a lucky break for the Wings but give them credit because lucky breaks don’t mean anything if you don’t finish the play and that’s exactly what Kennelly did. The Stars pulled the goalie late and had the puck down in Weyburn territory but they couldn’t mount much of a charge and so the game finished 3-2 Wings.
Mike Feeney’s Unsung Hard Working Player of the Game:
Tanner Schwab. I thought he and his line mates Robbie Newton and Tim Rollins had a strong game and Schwab was good in his return. The whole kid line was very good tonight but I just couldn’t choose between them so I went with Schwab.
Next up for the North Stars they travel to Wilcox to take on Notre Dame tonight at 7:30. I will once again have all the action live on CJNB/CJNS and www.cjnb.com starting with the SaskTel pregame show at 7:15.