North Stars season is over

The Battlefords North Stars 2012-13 season came to an end last night at the Civic Center. The Melfort Mustangs scored with 2:03 remaining in the 3rd period to skate off with a 4-3 victory. Josh Betinol scored twice for the Stars. Austin Evans also chipped in with a goal. But it wasn’t enough as the Mustangs swept the Survivor Series in three straight games.

It still hasn’t really sunk in yet and I am not too sure what to write at this point. I guess first and foremost congratulations to the Mustangs. They worked hard and played very well in the series and you can’t take anything away from them. They earned the wins and the series. Best of luck to Melfort against Humboldt.

For the North Stars it’s not how I expected the season to end.

I am going to miss the young men that made up that team. Most of them are eligible to return and I look forward to seeing them in the fall. For the 20 year old players it is especially tough. Kyle Hall, Braeden Johnson and Brody Luhning have been around this team for 3 years. Connor Creech for 2. And Evan Ripley joined the team this season.

Luhning played 157 games for the North Stars in his 3 years with the program. He also appeared in 20 playoff games. Luhning had 35 regular season goals as a Stars and added 78 assists.

Johnny played in 120 games for the North Stars plus 20 playoff games. He scored 33 goals and added 66 assists.

Kyle Hall played 169 regular season games for the Stars scoring 54 goals and 121 points. He also appeared in 20 playoff games.

Creech made 65 appearances for the Stars in 2 season going 35-21-4 with 10 games in the playoffs.

And Evan Ripley appeared in 52 games this season scoring once and adding 11 assists. He appeared in all 3 playoff games this season.

You won’t find 5 better people and all of them will be missed. In their own ways they helped to leave this franchise in a better place than it was in when they got here. It was great getting to watch them play and getting to know them all. And I am sure they are all destined for good things in the future.

As I said on the broadcast last night I want to thank the North Stars coaching staff and players for everything they’ve done this season. The board and all the volunteers who make it possible for the North Stars to exist and function so well. Everyone at CJNB/CJNS who was involved in getting the broadcasts on the air. And of course the North Stars great fans for making it all possible.

It’s going to be tough not going to the rink to broadcast a North Stars game for a while. But September will be here soon enough.

Leave a comment


  1. Ol' Yeller

     /  March 5, 2013

    On Feb 8 I wrote:

    “My pick is 6-2 Bombers and Stars will fade down the stretch. The focus and dedication to winning is not there in this lineup-too bad cause it could be. The tough aren’t going when the going gets tough-proof is the record against teams with equal or better than record than the Stars. Hope they prove me wrong.”

    I was wrong on the score in that game…but they did loose. And they did make my prediction look genius. I’m not sure why you are surprised Mike, the writing was on the wall and that became more evident as the season progressed. I thought some trades might have helped but I am also not going to play coach. I question however that in seeing this, why the Stars didn’t move a couple of aces in favor of some prospects for next and future years. How many current contenders (across Canada) would have given up something worthwhile for Hall, Luhning or Creech?

    Loosing is one thing, but loosing to Melfort during the opening round in 3 straight is unacceptable and leaves us all wondering about the (perhaps toxic) culture that has been woven into the fabric of this team for next year and the year after. This is not ok.

    • I disagree with pretty much all of this comment. You are entitled to your opinion. But those are great coaches. Great young men. And a great culture. They will be a very good team next year and in the future.

      • Ol' Yeller

         /  March 5, 2013

        Thanks Mike, perhaps I am a bit harsh and they are young men. And perhaps I need to learn to become a more accepting fan. My input is purely the voice of a “day after elimination” rant. In all fairness and deep down I am appreciative of the coaches and players and hope the experience of these playoffs burn in good as motivation for next season…as next season starts today. I am also appreciative for your hard work Mike and I hope next season’s games are all heard from your voice over the waves-thanks.

      • I understand. Fans are passionate. And fan passion is what keeps the team alive and allows me to have this job I love.

        I have no doubt about how hard the players and staff worked this season. If I did I would say so. I spend a lot of time with the team during the season and I saw a close group who wanted to do well for the organization, the fans and their teammates. And they did work really hard. As long as that is happening I don’t think we can ask much more.

  2. hockeyfan

     /  March 5, 2013

    I just hope Kevin can go out and recruit some top end kids. Goal tending might be an issue. We need help scoring goals as well.

  3. hockeyfan

     /  April 6, 2013

    Mike what can you tell us about the Spring camp? Where are some of the players coming from?


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