SJHL Playoffs – Bauer Final Game 1: Battlefords North Stars at Humboldt Broncos

The Battlefords North Stars and Humboldt Broncos finished the season as the top 2 teams in the SJHL. They were separated by just 5 points at the end of the season and both teams had a winning percentage well over .700. They split the season series 3-3 with the Stars winning the first 3 and the Broncos winning the final 3. During the season 4 of the 6 games were decided by a goal and only 1 was decided by more than 2 goals. The only team in the SJHL that allowed fewer goals than the North Stars was the Humboldt Broncos.

This shapes up to be another very close series. Whether it will be a long one is up in the air, although I think it will be, but I know that the individual games themselves will be close.

Recent Game:

  • The Battlefords North Stars won a game 7 against the Nipawin Hawks on Tuesday night at the Civic Center. The Stars came back from 3-1 down in that series with 3 straight wins to move on. Connor Creech won those 3 straight games in net and will likely go tonight for the North Stars. Roger Tagoona scored the game 7 overtime winner and he, and the Stars, will look to build on that momentum tonight.
  • The Humboldt Broncos haven’t played a game recently. They beat La Ronge in 4 straight games and have been off since March 7th. The Broncos rolled to a 6-2 win in game 4 in La Ronge to wrap that series up.

Who’s Hot:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • Robbie Ciolfi and Andrew Johston. This is scary for the Stars as those two were the Humboldt players that did the most damage against the North Stars in the regular season. Ciofli is a playoff player. He had 14 goals in 15 playoff games last year with Yorkton.
  • John Lawrence really stepped up offensively against the Ice Wolves. The Newdale, Manitoba native had 25 points in 36 regular season games. In the first round against the Ice Wolves Lawrence had 6 points in 4 games.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Boyd Wakelin. Goals in 3 of the final 4 games of the Nipawin series and 2 of them were huge goals. And 2 goals in the final 2 games of the series after Boyd was moved up to play with Tatchell and Johnson.
  • Connor Creech. 3 straight wins and a goals against average under 2. Creech came in to take over for Graham Hildebrand and ran with it.

Players to Watch:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • Taylor Johnson. Just 2 assists against La Ronge in 4 games. Johnson is a fabulous offensive player for the Broncos when he is on his game. He showed at times in the regular season that he can be hard to stop. Other times he’s hard to notice. If he brings his game the Stars will have their hands full.
  • Josh Roach. A couple of high profile mistakes in games against the Stars this season aside Roach has been outstanding. It will be interesting to see who the Broncos put out when Tatchell’s line is on the ice. Will it be Roach? If it is that will be a fascinating match-up to watch.

Battlefords North Stars

  • Roger Tagoona. He, Tim Rollins and Tanner Schwab had a great game 7 and scored the game winning goal. Will they be together again tonight? How much confidence and momentum will they have from that game? And of course look for Roger Tagoona to build off that epic goal.
  • Klay Kachur. Only faced the Broncos once in the regular season. He provides the Stars with a lot of leadership and his playoff experience with Power River was helpful in the comeback against Nipawin. Kachur and Berg can be a wild card in this series. They can be very difficult to score on and can provide offense at times. A very nice pair to slot in between the more offensive Luhning/Klassen pair and the more defensive Sparrow/Forbes or Sheeran pair.

Regular Season Head to Head:

  • Regular Season Meetings:
    Battlefords 0 @ Humboldt 1 (Jan 15 2012)
    Humboldt 3 @ Battlefords 2 (Dec 21 2011)
    Battlefords 0 @ Humboldt 5 (Dec 11 2011)
    Humboldt 1 @ Battlefords 2 (Nov 5 2011)
    Humboldt 4 @ Battlefords 6 (Oct 28 2011)
    Battlefords 5 @ Humboldt 4 (Oct 7 2011)
  • Head to Head Leaders:
    Robbie Ciolfi – 5Gp – 4G – 4A – 8PTS
    Andrew Johnston – 6GP – 3G – 5A – 8PTS
    Brett Miller – 6GP – 5A – 1A – 6PTS
    Blake Tatchell – 6GP – 3G – 2A – 5PTS
    Tanner Schwab – 6GP – 2G – 3A – 5PTS

Playoff Leaders:

  • Blake Tatchell – 7GP – 3G – 6A – 9PTS
  • Robbie Ciolfi – 4GP – 5G – 1A – 6PTS
  • John Lawrence – 4GP – 2G – 4A – 6PTS
  • Andrew Johnston – 4Gp – 4G – 2A – 6PTS
  • Brody Luhning – 7GP – 2G – 2A – 4PTS
  • Kyle Hall – 7GP – 2G – 2A – 4PTS
  • Ryan Marshall – 4GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS
  • Taylor Duzan – 4GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS
  • Woody Klassen – 7GP – 1G – 2A – 3PTS
  • Mitch Berg – 7GP – 2G – 1A – 3PTS
  • Boyd Wakelin – 7GP – 3G – 0A – 3PTS

Playoff Special Teams:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • PP –  5-18 (27.8%) PK – 20-21 (95.2%)

Battlefords North Stars

  • PP – 4-21 (19.0%) PK – 16-20 (80.0%)

The Big Stat(s):

  • 3-0. That’s the North Stars record in the playoffs when winning after 2 periods of play. It’s also the Broncos playoff record when winning after 2 periods of play. Scoring first is going to be a big key in each game and taking a lead into the final period will be huge. Both teams have great team D that can shut down an opposition and protect a lead.
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