SJHL Game 53: Battlefords North Stars at Melville Millionaires

The Battlefords North Stars wrap up the regular season on the road tonight and tomorrow. It’s a stop in Melville tonight to face the Millionaires. So far this season the Stars have struggled against Melville losing all 3 meetings and allowing 17 goals. The most recent meeting was a 2-1 win for Melville though and that was more of a North Stars style game.

The Millionaires still have plenty to play for this evening. They have a shot at first place in the South. They need to win tonight and have the Stars beat Yorkton tomorrow. That’s actually great news for the Stars. They get to play spoiler and it gives them something to help motivate themselves. They want to go into the playoffs firing on all cylinders. And the challenge they will get this weekend will help them get tuned up.

Recent Games:

Melville Millionaires:

  • The Mills lost 5-4 in a shootout last night in Humbodt. Melville had won their previous 9 in a row and are now 15-2-0-1 in their last 18 games played. Just like Humboldt and Nipawin the Stars go up against a hot team tonight.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • The Stars beat the Nipawin Hawks 5-4 in a shootout last night at the Civic Center. Coach Doug Johnson used 3 defensemen in the shootout as both teams know where they will finish in the standings and there are no shootouts in the playoffs. So it was a chance to get some different guys out there and see what they could do. The Stars had a 3-1 lead after 1 and a 4-3 lead after 2 period of play last night. Jake McMillen, Luke McColgan and Spencer Gosselin scored the goals. McMillen and McColgan both scrappy goals in front banging away at pucks. Gosselin scored a beauty on a break away sliding the puck 5 hole on Davis Jones. Goose also scored on a point shot.

Players to Watch:

Melville Millionaires:

  • Ian McNulty. Was just given the league’s top player award. Has a chance to lead his team and the league in scoring.
  • Alex Wakaluk. The league’s MVP. It’s perhaps a little strange to see the goalie on the team that’s scored the most goals this season picking up the most valuable player award. But his numbers are outstanding.

Battlefords North Stars:

  • Luke McColgan. Snapped a long drought without a goal last night and now has back to back games with a point. His physical play and defensive awareness are always top notch. He’s got the ability to score as well and hopefully now will go on a nice little run.
  • Spencer Gosselin and Kyle Schmidt. Both got on the board last night with Gosselin scoring a couple goals and Schmidt picking up an assist. Early in the season Gosselin was one of the top scoring rookie D men in the league. He hasn’t been putting up the points of late in part because he’s been in and out of the lineup. Healthy and back on the blueline now though and it will be fun to see how he and Schmidt do this weekend. The Stars get a little more scoring from their D and they are an even tougher team to play against.

Head to Head:

  • Melville 2 @ Battlefords 1 (Feb 1 2013)
  • Battlefords 3 @ Melville 5 (Nov 30 2012)
  • Melville 10 @ Battlefords 4 (Sep 28 2012)
  • Nathan Boyer was traded from La Ronge to Melville this season. He’s played against the Stars 6 times and has 7 goals and 9 points. Ian McNulty has 2 goals and 8 points in 3 games against the Stars. Kyle Hall leads the Stars with a goal and 3 helpers in 3 games versus Melville.

Special Teams:

Melville Millionaires:

  • PP: 46-203 (22.7% – 1st in SJHL)
  • PK: 176-215 (81.9% – 8th in SJHL)

Battlefords North Stars:

  • PP: 46-247 (18.6% – 6th in SJHL)
  • PK: 194-241 (80.5% – 9th in SJHL)
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