Stars shutout Red Wings in a shootout

The Battlefords North Stars skated to a 1-0 shootout win last night at the Civic Center.

Casey Parker got the start in place of the injured Connor Creech, although it sounds like the plan was to start Parker in the Weyburn game anyway, and made 25 saves through regulation and overtime for the shutout. He also stopped 2 Weyburn attempts in the shootout with a third fired high and wide. So Parker was not beaten in the game and now has his first career SJHL shutout. A great moment for Parker and it was great to see he had his dad there to see it. Parker also came in against Nipawin and wasn’t beaten in a hair over 40 minutes on the ice. So his personal shutout streak is over 100 minutes going back to the Melville game. By my count his streak is at 126 minutes. That’s the final period of the Melville game, 41 minutes again Nipawin and 65 last night. Congrats to Casey for that.

Also a lot of credit goes to the team in front of him. I thought the Stars did a great job blocking shots last night and keeping shots to the outside. Parker made all the saves he was asked to make but the D also did a good job making sure a lot of the saves were routine. They did it without Dillon Forbes, Matt Sheeran and Keenan Martens. It sounds like Forbes could be back next week. Sheeran is a long term injury absentee. And Martens has decided to leave the team and return home to Calgary to go to school. It sounds like he just wasn’t up for the grind of junior ‘A’ hockey anymore which is understandable. So ‘AP’ D-man Connor Sych was in the lineup last night for the Stars and he was solid when called upon.

Joren Johnson, Evan Ripley and Spencer Gosselin were all outstanding last night as they had to play big minutes. With just 4 veteran players back on D you knew those guys would be relied upon heavily. The job was even tougher when Brody Luhning ran into some trouble with penalties. He picked up two 10 minute misconducts last night and both were pretty weak.

Travis Marit dropped back to play D a times last night. As did Ryne Keller in overtime. It was good to have Ryne back in the lineup after he missed the Nipawin game. All in all it was a very solid defensive effort from all 17 skaters and of course Parker.

Luke McColgan scored the game winner in the shootout. He was the only shooters to find the back of the net. Jean-Phillipe Boucher was outstanding in net for Weyburn at the over end of the ice and he didn’t deserve to be on the losing end. McColgan probably deserved the winner as he thought he’d scored in the second period. McColgan had perhaps the Stars best chance but he blasted a shot off the post.

It was a pretty entertaining a game despite the lack of goals. There was good flow and it seemed to be a pretty quick game. End to end action at times. Weyburn reminds me a little of Melfort last year. They worked hard for the majority of the game. But just couldn’t find a way to create enough offense. After Miguel Pereira, and with Sam Williams injured, the Wings skill and offensive flair drops off a little. But with their D, goaltending and work ethic they will play a lot of close games.

For the North Stars another gutsy effort and a well earned 2 points. They move up into 3rd in the Bauer with 33 points. They are ahead of Nipawin by a tie breaker. That could change today with Nipawin in action against Notre Dame. Whatever happens tonight though we know the Stars have a huge game coming up on Tuesday on the road in Nipawin.

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