The Battlefords North Stars have now lost 2 in a row on their current Southern road trip.
It was a pretty good road period for the Stars in the first. They controlled the play pretty well and outshot their opponents. Casey Parker was sharp when tested and for the most part the Red Wings didn’t get much offense going. In fact, from where I was sitting, the Wings fans were getting on their team as the first period went on. They weren’t happy with how Weyburn was playing and a large part of that was the North Stars strong period.
The Stars got on the board and took a deserved lead when they got their first power play of the game. Samuel Normandeau went off for interference. Spencer Gosselin and Brody Luhning teamed up to get the puck to Jake McMillen and he did the rest. McMillen rushed up the middle and had a step on the D man who was slow to turn. Once McMillen got in the zone and got a step on his man it was over. He was shaded over to the left side of the slot and rifled a wrister past the glove of new Weyburn goalie Jean-Phillipe Boucher.
The Stars made it 2-0 not too long later. Robbie Newton found a loose puck at the side of the net and just threw the puck on net. It found a way past the sprawled goalie and Ryne Keller picked up an assist. The Stars closed out the period playing well and ended up with 15 shots.
That was a period that they should have been able to build on. But they came out a little flat in the second. The second period has been a rough one for the Stars so far this season. And it bit them again. But having said that the Red Wings didn’t really get going under a bad bounce led to a goal. I do remember thinking that the game was flat and the Stars needed to get going. I also thought they had missed a chance to bury the Wings in the first period.
A dump in from outside the blue line from Brandon Ganz landed in front of Casey Parker who had the puck covered but it landed in the blue paint and instead of bouncing into Parker’s pads it hopped straight up into the top corner. That made it 2-1 and the Stars were already on the back foot a little. They couldn’t get things going after that. Carter Struthers scored 3 and a half minutes later it the game was 2-2 heading to the third. A bouncing puck came out to the slot and Struthers had time to fire it home.
The Stars have been pretty good in the third period so far this season. But they couldn’t turn momentum. Miguel Pereira scored a beauty pretty early in the third when he beat Parker short side up high over the shoulder. He didn’t have much to shoot at but found the corner to make it 3-2 Wings. Austin Rosslein scored midway through the period and later Brody Luhning lost an edge and fell leading to a short handed 2-0 with the Wings top two offensive performers. Ryan Ostertag and Pereira made no mistake. That’s the way the game finished. But not before Ben Greenaway fought for the second straight game. He beat Cody Fiala who I don’t think even threw a punch. But it was a pretty short fight before the linesmen got in between them.
So the Stars lose for the second straight game. And for the second straight game they were outworked. The Stars were making no excuses after the game. Coach Hasselberg on the air said they have to work harder. No matter how much busing they’ve done lately. And captain Robbie Newton told me the same thing when we were chatting here at the hotel.
The Stars will have to get a good nights sleep and have a better effort tomorrow night in Wilcox. The Stars versus the Notre Dame Hounds will be a good game and I will have all the action starting at 7:45. The game starts at 8. Lets hope the Stars snap out of this little funk. I thought they were going to really build on that win over Yorkton. That hasn’t happened. But a good win tomorrow will be a nice way to head into this coming week when they host La Ronge on Friday.
I am going to go for a run here in a minute then I will be uploading pictures and writing about yesterday’s trip to North Dakota.