The Battlefords North Stars lost game 1 of the Survivor Series last night at the Civic Center. The Melfort Mustangs skated away with a 4-1 win and home ice advantage going into tonight’s game 2.
The Stars looked a little tight in the first 3 or 4 shifts last night and then Ryne Keller’s line had a good shift in the offensive zone. That seemed to get the team going a little and they ended up getting an early goal. Ben Greenaway just threw the puck towards the net on the backhand and it got through Jesse Wilkins.
The Stars ended up being the better team in the opening period and the shots would have been even more lopsided if the Mustangs hadn’t had a couple of chances on the power play. They didn’t score on those opportunities in part because of a strong North Stars shot block effort and the play of Connor Creech.
In the second period the Stars came out sluggish and the Mustangs made them pay with 3 goals. The first two were soft goals that Connor Creech stops 99 times out of 100. The third was a nicely worked goal on the power play directed home by Logan Sceviour. I thought he had a strong game for the Mustangs.
The Stars have struggled with the second period at times this season and last night was a struggle. They also didn’t get much going in the final period as they managed 10 shots and a few scoring chances. But they didn’t do enough to cut the lead and eventually the Mustangs added another power play goal late to seal the game.
With the win the Mustangs now have taken home ice away from the Stars and they will look to cement that with a win at home tonight. The North Stars will be looking to get home ice back with a road win. It’s a short 5 game series and so everything seems to be magnified. But the one noticeable aspect of a short series is how quickly things can change.
A lot of the North Stars players got their first Junior ‘A’ playoff game under their belts and now have a better idea what to expect moving forward. They did seem a little tight at times last night and maybe a little nervous. It’s a short series as mentioned so they will have to get past that quickly.
We’ve seen the Stars bounce back before and they will look to do it again tonight in Melfort. I will have the call live on CJNB/CJNS starting with the SaskTel pregame show at 7:15. Puck drops at 7:30. You can also listen online at http://www.cjnb.com