The Battlefords North Stars are now 0-3 this season versus the Kindersley Klippers. The Klippers scored a goal in each period and Evan Weininger made 24 saves for his first shutout and win of the season.
The North Stars came out flat last night in Kindersley yielding the first 8 shots of the game and the first goal. Dubeau scored less than 3 minutes into the game and the Stars were behind the 8-ball. After a good PK in the middle of the period I thought the energy line of Bechtold, Quinn and Petrino had a really good shift. The Stars weren’t able to get a goal but they started to even out the shot counter.
Unfortunately too many of the shots were coming from the outside. Coach Hasselberg said after the game the Stars played “a perimeter game” and couldn’t seem to get their feet moving. There wasn’t much of a forecheck all night. The best chance of the opening period for the Stars was on the stick of Reed Delainey. He maybe had more time than he realized but his shot from the slot was stopped.
With the North Stars coming on a little early in the second it looked like maybe they would start to get things turned around. Lanigan and then Daniels both went to the box in the first half of the second but the Stars power play wasn’t able to muster much. For the first time all season the Stars put up a zero in the power play goals column.
The Klippers made it 2-0 on a blown coverage. Tristan Sieben was all alone in the slot and was eventually found. He tipped the puck past Casey Parker to double Kindersley’s output for the game. Parker then made two big saves later in the period. He stopped Cody Thiel twice, once on a breakaway, and kept his team within two goals. I wondered at the time if that might be a turning point in the game.
Those two stops could have loomed large but the Stars couldn’t mount a comeback. They were two very big saves at the time.
The Klippers rounded off the scoring with a deflected power play goal late in the third period. The North Stars best chance of the final frame was set up by Jack Petrino but Blake Young was unable to capitalize from the slot.
So 3-0 was the final score. And the Stars now trail the Klippers by 7 points in the Kramer Division.
I don’t want to skip over what happened at the end of the first period. The Klippers took a shot after the horn and they knew what they were doing. There was a delay after the horn before the shot was taken. Brendan Heinrich skated over to confront the Kindersley forward and ended up at the bottom of the pile under 3 Klippers.
With the refs not looking Cody Thiel glove punched Kendall Fransoo in the face 3 or 4 times. Thiel has given the Klippers a nice boost this season and some back bone that they didn’t have last year. That’s something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. He plays a valuable role on that team and plays it well.
What I really didn’t like on the play was both refs were in the scrum, that’s the job for the linesmen, and neither one was watching behind the play as Thiel should have been penalized. To even up the calls after that scrum at the end of the period was laughable.
But in the end it didn’t have an impact on the final score as the North Stars were unable to mount a comeback. The Stars still haven’t shown what they are capable of against the Klippers. I expect to see some real push back tomorrow night at the Civic Center and a really good game as well.
Come out and check out game 4 of the Guy’s Furniture Rivalry Cup tonight. The North Stars haven’t played at home since September 27th so they are eager to play in front of the home fans once again.