Stars fall 6-3 to Augustana Vikings

The Battlefords North Stars played a fantastic first period to jump all over the Vikings at the Civic Center.

The game started off on a fun note when former North Star Boyd Wakelin hit the ice prior to puck drop. His team mates stayed behind in the tunnel to let Wakelin skate a lap of the Civic Center ice by himself.

Casey Parker is back with the North Stars after a try out in the WHL. Parker started in net and looked solid. The North Stars came out of the gates flying. Playing with speed and size, the Stars physical game was right where it left off in Wainwright. And they scored an early goal. Blake Young used his great speed to burst past the Augustana defense. Young was in alone and roofed the puck past the Vikings goalie. That made it one nothing Stars and at that time the shots were 3-2. The game had a great early pace. The Vikings tied it up during some 4 on 4 play when former Fort Mac Oil Baron Adam Johnson leveled the scoring.

The Vikings then ran into penalty trouble and the Stars capitalized on some lengthy 5 on 3 power play time. Joren Johnson wriggled loose and walked into the slot. He rifled the puck bar down to make it 2-1. What a beauty goal. Assists went to Latrell Charleson and Jack Petrino. Blake Young’s speed then drew another penalty and Braden Lacoursiere scored on a point shot that may have deflected in off a Vikings D man. Travis Marit and Jake Erickson drew assists. That made it 3-1 Stars. That’s all the scoring the North Stars would provide.

In the second and third periods the Stars got into penalty trouble. Boyd Wakelin scored and assisted on 2 more goals and the Vikings came from behind to win. Once the Vikings got going and they got their feet moving they really controlled the game. But this is a college team full of grown men who are very strong, positionally solid and talented.

They made the Stars play to a very high level and for a long time the Stars played to that level. In the end, the offense basically boiled down to a special teams battle with both teams power plays looking good.

After the game I spoke with Wakelin. He said it was a real privilege to play at the Civic Center once again. Something he never thought would happen when his junior career ended. Wakes was the games first star, as selected by me, and I was really impressed with his play. I haven’t seen Wakes play in a while and he’s really improving all the time. Former North Star coach Blaine Gusdal was on hand as well. He is the coach of the Vikings. He was full of praise for the North Stars and the level of play they brought in the two exhibition games. Gusdal also had a lot of great things to say about the Stars coaching staff. And of course he loved being back in the Battlefords. He spent a lot of time in the crowd spending time with old friends and really seemed to enjoy the night.

I also spoke with Coach Hasselberg who said the Vikings forced the North Stars to play at a very high level and that will really help the North Stars evaluate some of their players. He also confirmed a rumour that was floating around the Civic Center throughout the game. I had heard from several sources that Luke McColgan was back. And that is in fact the case. Coach Hasselberg said McColgan flew in to town tonight. It’s a shame that he wasn’t able to stick in the USHL with Fargo but it’s good for the North Stars as he will be a top player in this league this season. He had a fantastic rookie season and is one of the best two way forwards in the league. He’s a physical center who wins face-offs and kills penalties. He scores as well. And suddenly the North Stars have all kinds of depth up front.

 

There were 16 forwards listed on the roster tonight. (Marit, Newton, Keller, Greenaway, Quinn, Hillis, Delainey, Fountain, McMillen, Leonenko, Carlson, Petrino, Heinrich, Evans, Young, and Petrick) Now you add McColgan to that mix. There are going to be tough decisions to be made. And some great kids will be let go or traded.

The same goes with the D where there are 9 guys to sort through. Two of them, Sheeran and Schmidt, are injured but with potentially 6 returning D men in the fold I can’t imagine what the Stars will end up with as a roster after the preseason. What I do know is that all of these guys are great kids who work hard and have contributed to the North Stars program in a positive way. And I know that the Stars are in the right hands with Kevin Hasselberg and Blair Atcheynum making these decisions. So we will wait and see what happens with the roster as the preseason continues.

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2 Comments

  1. hockeyfan

     /  September 12, 2013

    Will Betinol be on the road trip as well?

    Reply
    • Betinol getting cut from Dubuque doesn’t necessarily mean he’s coming back. If I hear confirmation that Betinol is coming back to the Stars i will post that info.

      Reply

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