Game #8: North Stars at Nipawin Hawks

I always enjoy coming to Nipawin. Centennial Arena, aka The Cage, is always a great place to watch a game. I get a decent broadcast location. There is almost always a good sized crowd with a good atmosphere. The two teams seem to always provide good entertainment. And the North Stars beat the Hawks two years ago in the playoffs in a great 7 game series. Lots of great memories of these two teams playing each other. And for the first time this year the North Stars are back in Nipawin.

The Hawks are 3-4 on the season and coming off a loss to the Estevan Bruins. They have just 2 returning D men from last year’s team. (Ben Petros and Eric Bollefer) and 9 returning forwards. They lost arguably the leagues top goalie from the past season with Davis Jones moving on. And of course they lost graduating players like Eli Lichtenwald and Wheaton King. So it’s a new look Hawks team. But we know coach Doug Johnson and his staff will have put together a good group of players this year. It’s exciting to see what this year’s Hawks team is all about.

There are familiar faces with former North Star Carter Danczak and former Stars list player and midget AAA Star Maxim Powiada.

The North Stars are coming off a win in Melville in their most recent game. That was a shootout win that moved the Stars to 2-5 on the season. They are just 2 points back of Humboldt in the Kramer division however and this well be a big game.

Some Keys For the Stars:

1) Desperation: This is the Stars only game this week. They haven’t played in a week and they are about to go into the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. So there’s really no reason to leave anything in the tank. Put it all out on the ice.

2) Opportunity: Some guys have an opportunity to get back in the lineup today and show what they can do. I’d love to see them take advantage of that chance.

3) Hit: The rink here in Nipawin is a little on the small side. It’s close quarters. And that means the games can be very physical. The Stars have guys who will embrace that and as a team their forecheck and physical play will be a factor one way or the other.

4) Protect: I’ve been told by my sources that the Hawks have a nice looking offense this season but that the D has struggled a little. The have allowed close to 4 goals per game. The Stars will need to keep the talented Hawks forwards aay from the scoring areas tonight.

North Stars Lineup:

Goalies:

Darren Martin*
Casey Parker

Defense:

Forbes – Fransoo*
Gosselin – Charleson
Erickson – Schmidt

Forwards:

Young – Delainey – Heinrich*
Reich – McColgan – Leonenko
McMillen – Keller – Evans
Quinn – Bechtold – Fountain

Scratches:

Lacoursiere, Sheeran, Greenaway, Petrino, Carlson

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