SJHL Game 22: Battlefords North Stars at Humboldt Broncos

The Battlefords North Stars face the Humboldt Broncos tonight to kick off a very difficult portion of their schedule. The Stars face the top 3 teams in the North followed by the top two teams in the South. That’s a 5 game stretch, with 4 on the road, that really couldn’t be more demanding. But it’s also a chance for the North Stars season to really take off. They’ve won 2 in a row and are playing better of late.

I don’t like to play the “if” game so let’s just say that the North Stars have an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the league about just how good they are and to get themselves back into the race for a top spot in the North.

It’s not going to define their season, but I have a feeling we could look back on this 5 game stretch as a key point in the story of the season.

Recent Games:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • The  Broncos most recent game was a 2-1 loss to the Nipawin Hawks last Saturday. Cody Pongracz scored the Broncos only goal as Davis Jones made 25 saves for the win for Nipawin. Before that loss the Broncos had won 6 in a row.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Beat La Ronge 8-2 at the Civic Center on Saturday. Kyle Hall had a hat trick while Justin Waskewitch chipped in with a goal and 2 assists. 6 North Stars had multi-point efforts.

Players to Watch:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • Matt Hrynkiw. Has a league leading goals against average allowing just 1.91 goals per 60 minutes. Hrynkiw is tied for the league lead with 3 shutouts. The North Stars know all about Hrynkiw after last year’s playoffs. They need to find a way to get to the Broncos tender.
  • Joey Davies. Davies is leading the league in scoring but interestingly he also has 6 game winning goals out of 18 overall. Davies has scored the winner in the last 4 Broncos victories including a 3-1 win over the North Stars back on November 6th.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Spencer Gosselin. Just looking over the stats I realized that “Goose” as far as I can tell, is leading the league in scoring by rookie D men. With 10 points so far in 19 games Gosselin is 8th in the league for D man scoring overall.
  • Connor Creech. 9-8 on the season so far and his goals against is a solid 2.91. The save percentage is a little low at .892 but that has been improving. With a tough schedule in the next 5 games the Stars are going to need strong goaltending. Especially tonight as Humboldt has the league’s top goaltender.
  • Brody Luhning. I know he feels like he’s been in a slump offensively and has been doing some work in practice to break out offensively. Could tonight be the night?

Head to Head:

  • Humboldt 3 @ Battlefords 1 (Nov 6 2012)
  • Humboldt 4 @ Battlefords 3 (Oct 17 2012)
  • Stars Leaders:
    7 – Josh Betinol – 2 Games – 1G – 2A – 3pts
    24 – Jake McMillen – 2 Games – 1G – 2A – 3pts
    Humboldt Leaders:
    11 – Joey Davies – 2 Games – 3G – 1A – 4pts
    10– Cody Pongracz – 2 Games – 1G – 3A – 4pts

Special Teams:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • PP: 25-93  (26.9% – 2nd in SJHL)
  • PK: 78-87 (89.7% – 1st in SJHL)

Battlefords North Stars:

  • PP: 22-107 (20.6% – 5th in SJHL)
  • PK: 76-102 (74.5% – 12th in SJHL)
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