SJHL Bauer Semifinal Game 1: Nipawin Hawks at Battlefords North Stars

The Battlefords North Stars  host the Nipawin Hawks tonight at the Civic Center for Game 1 of a Bauer semifinal. The Hawks won the season series 4 games to 2 but the Stars won 2 of the final 3 meetings. The Hawks outscored the Stars by a margin of 22-19 in the 6 games. Both coaches were finalists for the Coach of the Year award. The Stars have the MVP in their lineup. The Hawks have the top goaltender. If this matchup doesn’t get you fired up for hockey and get your juices pumping then you may want to check your pulse.

Recent Game:

There haven’t been any recent games. That’s part of the reason that I am so anxious for this series to get underway.

Who’s Hot:

Nipawin Hawks:

  • Davis Jones is the SJHL’s top goaltender in terms of the league award. Tough to argue with that award. Jones was fantastic especially in the second half of the season.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Blake Tatchell. The league’s MVP award winner will be fired up for this series.

Players to Watch:

Nipawin Hawks:

  • Wheaton King and Justin Waskewitch. They are the real danger men for the Hawks. If the Stars can slow them down they improve their chances in this series.

Battlefords North Stars

  • Roger Tagoona, Tanner Schwab, Tim Rollins. Basically all of the Stars secondary scoring. They have been looking forward to the playoffs for a while now. The regular season is behind them and they, along with all of the North Stars, can now focus on doing whatever it takes to help the Stars win.

Head to Head:

  • Regular Season Meetings:

    Nipawin 5 @ Battlefords 3 (Jan 13 2012)
    Battlefords 5 @ Nipawin 2 (Nov 22 2011)
    Nipawin 1 @ Battlefords 2 (Oct 21 2011)
    Battlefords 2 @ Nipawin 4 (Oct 11 2011)
    Battlefords 3 @ Nipawin 4 (SO) (Oct 4 2011)
    Nipawin 6 @ Battlefords 4 (Sep 30 2011)

  • Head to Head Leaders:

    Blake Tatchell – 6GP – 5G – 4A – 9PTS
    Justin Waskewitch – 4GP – 4G – 4A – 8PTS
    Braeden Johnson – 5GP – 1G – 7A – 8PTS
    Brody Luhning – 6GP – 2G – 4A – 6PTS
    Wheaton King – 4GP – 1G – 5A – 6PTS

Head to Head Special Teams:

Nipawin Hawks:

  • PP – 7-26 (26.9%) PK – 19-26 (73.1%)

Battlefords North Stars:

  • PP – 7-26 (26.9%) PK – 19-26 (73.1%)

More Head to Head Power Play Stars:

  • Home Power Plays – Stars 5-16 (31.2%) – Hawks 2-12 (16.7%)
  • Road Power Plays – Stars 2-10 (20%) – Hawks 5-14 (35.7%)
  • Interestingly in the regular season the teams combined to go 10-30 (33.3%) on the power play at the Civic Center and just 4-22 (18.2%) at the Cage in Nipawin.
  • In wins the Hawks are 7-16 on the power play and in losses against the Stars they went 0-10.
  • In wins the Stars were 2-10 on the power play and in losses against the Hawks they were 5-16.
  • What does all this tell us? The Stars penalty kill is more important than their power play. Although having both going will go a long way to deciding the series in the Stars favour.

Other Notes:

Nipawin Hawks:

  • Davis Jones, the SJHL’s goalie of the year, has been strong against the Stars. He’s 3-1 with a 2.75GAA and .922 save%
  • Back up Taran Kozun struggled against the Stars losing his only start and allowing 5 goals.

Battlefords North Stars

  • Graham Hildebrand is 2-2 this season against the Hawks with a 3.50GAA and .885save%. In the 2 wins however Hildy has a 1.50GAA and .957 save%.
  • Connor Creech went 0-2 against the Hawks but was good in both games. His .910 save% against the Hawks this season probably deserved a better record.

The Big Stat(s):

  • 23-4-2. The Hawks home record is impressive. But their road record isn’t. Just 11 wins away from the Cage. The Stars have home ice advantage and need to make sure they take advantage of the Hawks weaker road numbers.
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