The Battlefords North Stars are back in Yorkton to face the Terriers for the second time so far in the early going. The Stars have just 1 win so far this season. It came here in Yorkton with Casey Parker backstopping a 4-0 shutout win. The Stars record doesn’t look great so far but they have 3 losses by a goal, if you take away an empty netter in Kindersley on opening night, and their goal difference is only minus 4 despite the 1-4 record. The Stars have also scored just 12 goals so far this season and that’s an area for improvement.
The Stars have made a couple of roster moves since the last time they played with Joren Johnson, Josh Betinol and last year’s captain Robbie Newton having been traded. Taylor Reich and Alex Bechtold are in the fold and both are with the team this weekend. I am still not sure how much those two will play but I do know that Matt Sheeran and Kyle Schmidt are both healthy. The Stars currently don’t have anyone with the team that is injured.
Schmidt will be in the lineup tonight and will be wearing the ‘C’. The Stars newest captain will provide leadership and experience on the back end. And don’t rule out a really strong offensive season from Schmidt as well. He had 4 assists in the early going last season before heading to the Blades. When he came back to the Stars later in the year Schmidt was working his way back into game shape and struggled to put up points. But he makes a really good pass and if he gets power play time on the point he could chip in more offensively.
Matt Sheeran is also back in the lineup. He’s another big 20 year old D man. His shoulder is 100% and he’s ready to go. Sheeran is the more offensive of the two and his presence on the point is a boost offensively as well. Both guys will get thrown into game action tonight and won’t necessarily be eased back into the lineup. Expect a tough test for both and we will see how they handle it. I expect they will do well.
Dillon Forbes is suspended for tonight’s encounter.
Some Keys for the Stars:
1) Positivity – The Stars have won in this building already this season. They know what to expect from Yorkton and their fans. Take that positive feeling from the previous game here and channel that into tonight’s game.
2) Energy – Use the boost of the new players as well as the returning guys and play with a lot of energy.
3) Calm – There will be times when the Terriers are buzzing. They will get some chances. They are too good of a team to subdue for an entire game. So when they get their bursts the North Stars will have to remain calm and stick to their game plan.
4) Step up – The Terriers provide a stiff challenge because they are a good team. They are also a team with toughness and they play with some edge. The Stars stepped up to that challenge, sparked by Greenaway’s fight with Gervais, last time and controlled the game after that point. Do that from the start tonight and success should follow.
North Stars Lineup:
Schmidt – Erickson
Gosselin – Charleson
Fransoo – Sheeran
Young – Keller – Evans
Quinn – Bechtold – Greenaway
McMillen – McColgan – Leonenko
Carlson – Petrino – Heinrich
Scratches: Luke Lee-knight, Dillon Forbes (susp), Braden Lacoursiere, Nick Fountain, Reed Delainey, Talyor Reich