The Battlefords North Stars head to Humboldt today to face the Broncos for the final time this season. The Stars are coming off nearly a week off between games and another hugely successful Ice Fishing Derby yesterday.

It’s looking like the North Stars and Broncos will meet in the playoffs as the Stars are now guaranteed to finish in 4th in the North. Provided they get through a survivor series with the 5th seed they would then face Humboldt. The Broncos have won 4 of 5 meetings so far this season including two 1 goal games and the most recent win back on January 12th was in overtime.

The Stars have 4 games left in the regular season to get ready for playoffs and they play the top 4 teams in the league. There will be no better way to prepare and rattling off a few wins in a row could really set them up to go into the post season on a high.

Today’s game gets going at 6 o’clock and the SaskTel pre-game show starts at 5:45 live on CJNB/CJNS or online at http://www.cjnb.com

Recent Games:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • The Broncos were down South this weekend with a pair of games in Estevan and Weyburn. Humboldt won them both including a 3-2 win on Friday night over Estevan. Humboldt has lost just once in regulation, and just 3 times overall, since December 11th. That’s a stretch of 20 games in which their record is 17-1-0-2.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • The Stars lost to 5-2 to Estevan in their most recent game. That was after a pair of shootout losses on the road in Flin Flon and La Ronge. The Stars have had some time to practice and work some things out and I am expecting them to have a great effort tonight.

Players to Watch:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • Alex Forsberg. In 14 games with the Broncos this season he has 7 goals and 7 assists. But he is currently on a 4 game goal streak and in that time has 4 goals and 1 assist. That’s tied for the league lead for longest current goal streak. Overall he is on a 5 game point streak.
  • Cody Pongracz. Has 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 5 games against the North Stars this season. One of those head to head games for the Stars was a shutout by Connor Creech in Humboldt. Which means In the 4 Humboldt wins Pongracz has 8 points. It’s obvious to say but if the Stars want to win they need to slow the Broncos forward down.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Connor Creech. If I was a betting man my money would be on Creech to get the start. The last time he started against Humboldt he picked up the shutout. Creech is 1-2 overall against the Broncos and has allowed just 6 goals in those 3 games.
  • Tanner Quinn. He is tied with Forsberg for longest current goal streak as Quinn has scored in 4 straight games and has points in 5 straight. He has a goal this season against the Broncos despite playing against them in just 2 of the 5 head to heads so far.
  • Kyle Hall and Braeden Johnson. Haven’t been able to put up many points against the Broncos this season. The Stars need their best players to play well and these are two of their best offensive weapons. Let’s see if they break out against Humboldt today.

Head to Head:

  • Battlefords 2 @ Humboldt 3 (OT) (Jan 12 2013)
  • Humboldt 6 @ Battlefords 0 (Dec 21 2012)
  • Battlefords 1 @ Humboldt 0 (Nov 23 2012)
  • Humboldt 3 @ Battlefords 1 (Nov 6 2012)
  • Humboldt 4 @ Battlefords 3 (Oct 17 2012)
  • North Stars
  • 7 – Josh Betinol – 5 games – 1G – 3A – 4pts
    9 – Austin Evans – 5 games – 1G – 2A – 3pts
    24 – Jake McMillen – 5 games – 1G – 2A – 3pts
  • Broncos
    10 – Cody Pongracz – 5 games – 3G – 5A – 8pts
    11 – Joey Davies – 5 games – 5G – 2A – 7pts
    16 – Adam Antkowiak – 5 games – 2G – 3A – 5pts

Special Teams:

Humboldt Broncos:

  • PP: 46-211 (21.8% – T-1st in SJHL)
  • PK: 177-199 (88.9% – 1st in SJHL)

Battlefords North Stars:

  • PP: 44-241 (18.3% – 6th in SJHL)
  • PK: 189-236 (80.1% – 9th in SJHL)
    Special teams will be huge again tonight. The last time these two teams met the Broncos won 3-2 in overtime. In that game the North Stars went 1-10 on the power play. Only the Nipawin Hawks earn themselves more power plays than the North Stars. If the man advantage starts really clicking they have a much better shot at a long playoff run.
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