The Battlefords North Stars are now 0-4 against the Kindersley Klippers this season. They are 4-3 against the rest of the league.
The North Stars made 4 changes to the lineup that lost 3-0 in Kindersley on Friday night. Dillon Forbes, Ben Greenaway, Nick Fountain and Robin Carlson all returned to the lineup. The Stars wanted a better effort than they had in Kindersley. They got it but they didn’t get the results for that hard work.
The Stars couldn’t have had a worse start last night. Their first game at the Civic Center in about 3 weeks and the crowd was taken out of the game immediately. A bouncing puck made it’s way right to a wide open Colby Daniels in the slot and he made it 1-0 just 10 seconds into the game. That line struck again just 1:25 into the first when Gio Bombini made it 2-0. The Stars hadn’t even had a shot on net yet. In fact, Robin Carlson’s line hadn’t even had a shift yet and the Stars were down 2.
The rest of the period the North Stars spent trying to get some momentum. That’s hard to do though when you are constantly killing penalties. The Stars gave up 4 power play chances to the Klippers but once again the Battlefords penalty kill was immaculate. Shot blocking was top notch and the shots that did get through were repelled by Darren Martin. He responded nicely after that very difficult start to the game.
Jake McMillen tried to fight Eric Pouliot in the first period but couldn’t find a dance partner. McMillen was trying to spark his team.
It seemed to work because from the second period on I thought the Stars got better and better. In the final 40 minutes they outshot the Klippers 32-16.
The difference was Tyrell King in the Klipper goal. He’s off to a fantastic start this season and is going to be tough to beat when his team stakes him to an early lead. The Klippers got the only goal of the second period. Austin Yano jumped up into the rush and snapped a shot off the wing that beat Martin on the blocker side just inside the post.
Ryne Keller was ejected in the middle frame for a check from behind. I didn’t like the call. Nick Fountain thought he had scored but the goal was waved off. Robin Carlson, in his return to the lineup, had a couple of second period chances turned away by King. Carlson was good for the North Stars and seemed to get better as the game went along.
But the bounces weren’t going the Stars way.
In the third Nick Fountain finally broke the shutout. McColgan and Young teamed up on a face off to poke the puck loose to Fountain in the slot and he chipped the puck past King. Not long after that Fountain beat King clean with a shot from the face off circle. It went off the cross bar and out of play. The Stars were inches away from getting within a goal.
Later in the period the Stars Alex Bechtold, who I thought had a strong game, missed a good chance in the slot firing just wide on the blocker side. A late third period power play for the Stars was unable to muster much offense and then Naish wrapped things up when he fired into the empty net with a little over a minute to go.
So the Stars had a goal waved off, a player kicked out, a shot off the cross bar and had to kill off 8 Kindersley power plays. The North Stars went to the man advantage just 3 times. A couple of bounces in the North Stars favour and it could have been a much different story.
It wasn’t though and the North Stars now drop to 4-7 on the season and they’ve lost 2 in a row. They won’t be making any excuses for the loss and they weren’t after the game I can assure you. This team will be looking for a big bounce back performance tonight as the Stars look to get back in the win column in Humboldt.