SJHL Game #56: Melfort Mustangs at Battlefords North Stars

The Battlefords North Stars host the Melfort Mustangs tonight in the penultimate home game of the season. The Stars will have just 2 games left on their schedule after tonight’s game. Sunday in Kindersley and next Tuesday at the Civic Center again against the Klippers. The Mustangs are batting with Kindersley to avoid finishing in dead last in the SJHL but despite the fact they have just 11 wins this season they have beaten some quality teams including Humboldt and probably should have won the last meeting with the Stars. It is a Northland Rentals Gameday and you can hear all the action live on CJNB/CJNS starting with the Sasktel Pregame Show at 7:15.

Recent Game:

Melfort Mustangs:

  • Played Sunday at home against the Notre Dame Hounds and lost 3-1. The game before that they beat Melville 2-1. The Mustangs have scored just 3 goals in their last 4 games and just 111 goals on the season which is by far the lowest in the league. Melfort works hard, tries their hardest but just don’t have the offense needed to win games right now.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • The North Stars split a weekend series in Flin Flon winning 6-3 on Friday night and losing 2-0 Saturday night.

Who’s Hot:

Melfort Mustangs:

  • Goalie Patrick Johnson has allowed just 10 goals in his last 5 starts and seems to give the Mustangs a chance to win whenever he starts. Jesse Wilkins is also a strong goalie and has won 2 of his last 5 starts.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • The Stars were shutout in their last game so statistically speaking no one is really all that hot right now.

Players to Watch:

Melfort Mustangs:

  • Jake Daughtry and Nathan Zimbaluk are both former North Stars players/property and will be looking to have good games against their former team. Jared Kambietz is another of the former North Stars contingent for whom to look out.
  • There are some names on the Mustangs current roster that I don’t recognize. Youngster like Jay Aasen and Sheldon Argent. It will be interesting to see if they are with the team, play in the game, and ultimately how they do in the game will be fun to watch.

Battlefords North Stars

  • The goalie. Who will it be? Will it be Graham HIldebrand for the third straight game? Or will Connor Creech get back in tonight? The playoffs are approaching and it will be interesting to see if the Stars select one of these two goalies to be a clear number 1 going into the post season.

Head to Head:

  • Battlefords 3 @ Melfort 2 (Jan 18 2012)
  • Battlefords 4 @ Melfort 1 (Dec 4 2011)
  • Melfort 0 @ Battlefords 3 (Oct 18 2011)
  • Battlefords 4 @ Melfort 1 (Oct 15 2011)
  • Battlefords 3 @ Melfort 0 (Oct 1 2011)
  • Melfort 4 @ Battlefords 5 (SO) (Sep 21 2011)
  • Tatchell, Hall and Johnson all have 7 points this season in 6 games against the Mustangs.
  • How about this stat? Connor Creech against Melfort this year is 2-0 with a 0.50GAA and a .978 save% and Graham Hildebrand in 3 starts against Melfort is 3-0 with a 1.00GAA and a .958 save%. That’s pretty consistent goaltending from the two guys.

Special Teams:

Melfort Mustangs:

  • PP – 13.9 (12th) PK – 77.5 (12th)

Battlefords North Stars:

  • PP – 18.9 (6th) PK – 80.0 (7th)

Other Notes:

Melfort Mustangs:

  • Brandon Sloan leads the Mustangs in scoring with 23 points this season. He’s played just 29 games this season. Jaret Zentner has 18 points in 20 games played. Imagine if both those guys had been around all season? The Mustangs offense might not look so bad. Zentner has played just once since the last meeting between the Stars and Mustangs back on January18th.

Battlefords North Stars

  • The Stars don’t play again after tonight for nearly a week. There next game is Sunday in Kindersley.
  • The Stars are coming off a stretch where they have played 8 of 9 games on the road. They picked up 5 wins in that stretch which all things considered isn’t a bad total.

The Big Stat(s):

  • 40. The Stars are 2 wins away from 40 this season. The last time, as far as I could find, that the Stars won that many games in a season was 1995-96. And that season the Stars played 6 more games as the SJHL had a 64 game schedule that season. Since the SJHL reduced the schedule to 60 games or fewer in 2002 only 4 teams have won 40 games in a season. 3 different Humboldt teams have accomplished that feat, and they most likely will again this season, and La Ronge last season. It just goes to show that despite a few recent struggles the Stars are still having one of the best seasons in their franchise history. With a new coach that came in just prior to training camp I think it’s a pretty great milestone….if the Stars make it. They still need 2 more wins to get to that plateau.
Leave a comment


  1. Stars Fan

     /  February 14, 2012

    Mitch actually played Melfort Jan18th scoring the winning goal and Carter was in the lineup also. Just a friendly note.

  2. Starsfan

     /  February 15, 2012

    I dont understand something… how are the AAA Stars so bad? Danczak really impressed me tonight. I thought he had a couple glorious chances to score and he set up Johnson for a nice goal. The other night Young really impressed me as well. I also thought Sheeran played a great game. The stars try to be to fancy on the PP. I’ve always been told if you dont shoot you wont score… Shoot the puck more… Will be interesting to see if Coach Kevin will sit a few vets out the last 2 games of the year so they can have a rest and see a few callups play or if he will go with his same lineup. The stars know they will finish 2nd, my opinon is why risk getting one of the top players injured? The last thing is, will the stars keep a few midget players around when they are done there season? It could be nice to see how they fit in for next year.

    • It’s always a risk playing guys in games that don’t have an impact on the standings. But the Stars don’t start the playoffs until March 3rd. Which is basically 2 weeks after the game Tuesday night against Kindersley. If you start giving guys the night off to rest then you risk guys getting very rusty with too much time off. I am sure if guys are a nursing some injuries they might be given the night off. But if they are healthy I believe they should play.

      The Stars will most definitely call up a few of the Midget Stars to be with the team during the playoffs. Most likely Young, Danczak and maybe a D man. I am not 100% sure who will be with the team but I know they will be starting to integrate some guys who they hope to have on the team next year.

      As for your question about why the midget team is bad. First of all I don’t think they are as bad as the record indicates. They lost their first 13 games in a row but have played better since then. They aren’t as deep as other teams in the league. Take the Saskatoon Contacts for instance. They have 10 or more players taken in the Bantam draft by teams in the WHL and at least one first round selection. The Stars have good players but they can’t match that depth.


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