Stars beat Kinderlsey 5-2 to close out the regular season

The North Stars wrapped up their regular season with a strong effort in a 5-2 win over Kindersley last night at the Civic Center. I will have lots more on the season in the coming days and of course a look ahead to the post season as well so keep checking back in the next week for lots more info.

The first period last night was a strange one at the Civic Center. There wasn’t a shot on net from either team in the first 5 minutes as a combination of scrambly play, blocked shots and guys firing hire and wide combined to ensure the goalies didn’t have much to do in the early going. The Stars actually scored on their first shot of the game when Tanner Quinn opened the scoring with a backhand shot that eluded Justin McDonald in the Kindersley net. Robbie Newton and Ryne Keller drew assists after great work on the forecheck. The home team made it 2 goals on 4 shots when Jordan Ethier beat McDonald at the 8:30 mark of the period. Roger Tagoona probably should haev scored as he made a gorgeous deke to go around McDonald and leave the goalie grasping at thin air. From the right side of the net Tagoona tried to slide a back hander into the empty net but he missed and the puck slid through the crease and out the other side. And right to Ethier who tapped it home. If it was a pass it was a beauty from Tagoona. Kyle Hall also picked up an assist on the goal. The Stars made it 3-0 on the power play 3 minutes later when Brett Miller powered out of the corner to the right of the goalie and drove the front of the net. The Klippers could do nothing as Miller slid the puck past McDonald. That was when Rockie Zinger used his timeout to settle his players down and it worked perfectly.

The Klippers responded after the time out by earning a power play as Kyle Hall was called for interference. Troy Gedny scored on the man advantage to get the Klippers on the board on just their second shot. of the game at the 12:48 mark. Brett Blatz took an interference penalty of his own 5 seconds after the goal to give the momentum back to the Stars. Or so we thought. The Klippers scored short handed 11 seconds into the power play and suddenly the score was 3-2. Colby Daniels and Kyle Davies went in on Hildebrand on a 2 on 1 short handed and eventually Davies got the puck across to Daniels who slid it home through the 5 hole on Graham Hildebrand.

After that craziness the period settled down a little and no more goals were scored. The Stars regrouped and came out and dominated the second period. The Klippers were given credit for 2 shots in the period but I actually thought one of those was blocked before it go to the net. Either way if it was 1 or 2 shots on net it was a very low number. The Stars dominated the puck in the attacking zone for long stretches and it took the Klippers 15 minutes before they got the puck down into the Stars zone for any length of time and it led to a shot on goal. Graham Hildebrand made the save in what must have been a tough period for the goalie. Standing there without any saves to make can’t be easy in terms of staying focused and warm. The Stars only scored once in the period when Rollins and Tagoona combined to set up Boyd Wakelin. Wakes didn’t control the puck cleanly as he had an empty net to shoot at. The Stars forward had to take time to control the puck and then by the time he did the Klippers were scrambling around trying to protect their net. Wakelin’s shot ended up in the back of the net and I think it may have deflected off a Klipper. It doesn’t really matter how it went in though it was Wakelin’s 9th of the year. There was some rough stuff in the second period as a near line brawl broke out after what appeared to be a dangerous hit on Roger Tagoona. Matt Sheeran ended up fighting Bradley Buckingham and both were given 5 and a game for the fight. The game misconducts came about because there were other skirmishes going on. Despite the fact that it didn’t look like either guy really threw any punches Jordan Ethier and David Haaf both ended up in the box with 5 for fighting. Because the ref decided the pushing and shoving had become more than 1 fight on the ice at the same time Sheeran and Buckingham were done for the night.

In the third the Stars continued to dominate despite the fact that the Klippers doubled their shot total for the game in the final period. They had 8 going into the period and just 16 at the end of the game. The Stars scored one more to seal the game as Boyd Wakelin scored again. In the rink they announced it as Kyle Hall’s goal and he was at the side of the net so I wasn’t sure if he had deflected it. But Hall corrected the ref and the score sheet was fixed to give Wakelin his 10th of the year. Hall and Ethier drawing assists on the play. The assist gave Ethier his first ever Gordie Howe hat trick.

Wakelin finished with 2 goals on the game. Tagoona had 3 assists. Kyle Hall had 2 helpers and Ethier had a goal and an assist. Both team finished the game 1 for 5 on the power play.

So the North Stars finish the regular season with the best winning percentage in franchise history. The fewest losses in a season in franchise history and the fewest goals allowed in a season in franchise history. It’s been an amazing season for the North Stars players and coaching staff and they head into the playoffs with plenty of momentum after one of the best seasons in franchise history.

As I said I will have more on the season that was coming up on the blog in the next week or so and of course plenty of coverage of the upcoming playoff match up with the young, talented, and hungry Nipawin Hawks. Game 1 goes Friday March 2nd and game 2 the very next night in Nipawin.

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