With the loss tonight the North Stars no longer control their own destiny in the race for first in the Bauer. Humboldt now lead the Stars by 2 points and both teams have played the same number of games. The win was a big one for the Terriers as well. They are in a race with Melville for 2nd in the Sherwood. With the Mills beating Weyburn tonight the win for the Terriers is huge. Both teams picked up big time wins over teams above them in the standings.
The Stars led after the first when a turnover cost the Terriers. Somehow the puck ended up on the stick of Kyle Hall and he fired a wrist shot past Warren Shymko in the Terriers net. It was Hall’s 12th of the year and his 3rd in his last 3 games. If the Stars can get Hall going it will go a long way to helping them compete for a championship with the Broncos and the other top teams in the league. Other than the goal I thought it was a very even period with both teams contributing to a solid game. It was a physical period of hockey with several big hits from both teams. The Stars ended the 2nd period on the power play and that man advantage carried over to the second period.
Bizarrely the time on the power play changed between periods. I am not sure what happened but the Stars should have had 29 seconds of power play time left in the 2nd period. Instead 20 seconds was put up on the clock. An honest mistake I am sure and in the end it may not have had much of an impact on the game, if any, but I fail to see how this could happen. First of all why did the time remaining on the power play come down off the clock to begin with? And if it must come down for them to time the intermission surely there should be a system in place to ensure the right amount of time goes back up on the clock? The game sheet online is correct. The penalty occurred with 1:31 left in the second, listed on the game sheet as 18:29 a high sticking call on Jeremy Johnson, and somehow the Stars missed out on 9 seconds of power play time. Fans who were at the game will know the Stars were given 20 seconds of PP time to start the period. Most likely a simple mistake and like I said I don’t believe this was in anyway intentional. But the ref should have noticed. The time keepers should have noticed and when the Stars noticed and tried to tell the officials, Jordan Ethier and Coach Atcheynum both tried to point it out, someone should have double checked. It probably won’t happen again, it likely had no effect on the game either, but it is worth noting so perhaps in the future a similar error doesn’t occur.
After the Terriers killed that power play they set to work tying the game. The Terriers outshot the North Stars in the second and eventually Brady Norrish struck with a little over ten minuted left to go in the second. Norrish was found in the high slot and had all kinds of time to skate in and pick his spot. The shot went through traffic and beat Hildebrand who I don’t think saw the shot. The Terriers power play went into the game ranked second in the league and is most likely now the top power play in the SJHL. They struck twice in the second. Both were back door passes that left Hildebrand no chance.
Travis Sparrow scored in the second period as well. It was Sparrow’s first of the season. First as a North Star. And first of his junior career. A big goal for Travis and to be honest I wish I would have called that goal a little better. I don’t feel like I gave it the description it deserved. Despite Sparrow’s best efforts offensively the Stars trailed by 1 goal heading to the third period.
In that third the big moment was a goal that wasn’t given. Blake Tatchell threw the puck out front and it went in off the leg of Jordan Ethier. The Ref was in perfect position to see the play and make a call and was certainly much closer than I was to the play. He waived it off immediately. The referee thought there was a kicking motion from Ethier and waved the goal off immediately. That would have tied the game, and I was really positive that the goal should have counted, but it didn’t and Coach Hasselberg after the game said the Stars have to trust the ref made the right call and get on with the game. They weren’t able to find a goal in the third despite outshooting the Terriers 13-8 and with the net empty Jeremy Johnson scored to finish off the Stars. There was a very good shift from the kid line with a minute left and the score 4-2 that almost earned a goal and did earn a power play for the Stars but it was too little too late.
The special teams battle was the real difference. The Terriers scored twice on the power play in just 3 attempts and the Stars went 0-4. That was the big difference in the game.
The Stars are right back in action tomorrow night in Melville looking to bounce back against a Mills team that had a huge win tonight.
Mike Feeney’s Unsung Hard Working Player of the Game:
Jared Samborski. He had several good shifts, along with his linemates, and earned his team that late power play. Sammy had a couple of shots on goal and some scoring chances in a strong performance.