40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
North Stars Record: 13-13-0-2
Last game recap – The North Stars finished off a perfect Northern road trip with a 3-2 win over La Ronge on Wednesday night. The Stars started with a pair of goals in the first period. Ryne Keller opening the scoring and Brenden Heinrich making it 2-0.
Darren Martin started in net and was solid in the first period making just 7 saves to keep the Ice Wolves at bay. La Ronge went 0-2 on the power play while the Stars were 0-3.
La Ronge got better as the game went along and managed to outshoot the Stars in the second period and get the periods only goal. Agner-Bouchard, a new comer to the Ice Wolves lineup, got them on the bored. It was 2-1 heading to the third. I thought Tyler Fuhr struggled a little in the first period but he was solid the rest of the way.
In the third the Ice Wolves tied the game at 2 thanks to a goal from Cole Golka. Golka ended up with 2 points on the game. The Stars sent out a group they thought would respond and it worked. Dillon Forbes was vocal as he went on the ice to start the shift after the tying goal. And he backed up those words with the game winning goal. A point shot that may have changed directions on the way but beat Fuhr to make it 3-2 Stars.
Forbes ended up the game first star. A 2 point night and solid in his own end as well. Plus the physical play that is his trademark. Leave to a player with experience to have a great game in a rink that can sometimes be tough to play in. Blake Young also had 2 points although he felt he deserved an assist on the opening goal. None the less his roll of late continues.
All in all it was a great effort on the road trip to Flin Flon and La Ronge. The team is a little banged up and only played with 17 skaters in La Ronge. They also are a little unhealthy as well. Lots of bus travel. But in the end they made no excuses, got down to work, and picked up a pair of good road victories.
- Parents and Billets: It should be a great night at the Civic Center with Parents and Billets weekend. There are a lot of important people that make the North Stars franchise possible. Parents and Billets are two very important groups. So the players get to play in front of family and there is a party after the game as well. It’s also the only game of the weekend for the North Stars so they’ll have plenty of energy to expend in tonight’s game.
- 500: The North Stars got to .500 on the season with the win in La Ronge. So a win tonight would put them above that mark. Who would have tought that a team that was 4-12 would get to 13-13-0-2 on the season? To turn it around that fast is impressive and shows that this team is as good as we thought they were.
- November: No team has been hotter in November than the Stars and it is important to finish the month off strong. 6-0-0-1 is the current streak and in their last 10 the North Stars are 8-1-0-1. That’s some consistently good hockey right there.
- Kramer: The teams in this division continue to win and to go to overtime. The Broncos and Klippers both picked up 3 points in their recent head to head games and have gone to OT in all 3 games they’ve played against each other this season. Notre Dame won the over night as well. In the last 10 games Sherwood teams have 17 wins. Viterra teams have 21. Kramer division teams have 24 wins in that stretch and that’s with Kindersley winning just 3 in that span. It’s a tough division.
- Streaks: Speaking of streaks the North Stars have some players on steaks. Blake Young and Brenden Heinrich are on 5 game point streaks. In that time Young has 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points. Heinrich has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points. Dillon Forbes is on a 3 game assist streak and in that time has 1 goal and 3 helpers for 4 points. The stats may change, coach Hasselberg sends in film to get scoring players right and stat corrections made, as well as Heinrich may have missed out on a point that would make the streak even longer.
- Atch: The North Stars will get their assistant coach back behind the bench tonight. Coach Atcheynum wasn’t on the road trip as he had some personal matter to attend to at home. It will be good to see Atch back behind the bench.
- Revenge: The North Stars were seconds away from a much needed win in Estevan and didn’t get it. That made have been the moment that turned the season around. But that doesn’t mean the Stars won’t be out for revenge here tonight.
- Special Teams: Of course. Always something to watch but especially tonight. The Bruins have the league’s top power play. They are 4th in the league on the PK. May as well keep it at 5 on 5 as much as possible. That’s the first thing. But the North Stars are capable of winning the special teams battle against anyone. They may need to tonight.
- Lineup: The North Stars have been a little banged up of late so the last couple days off may have helped guys to heal. They also were fighting off a flu or cold that was going through the team. They tried to minimize the damage and keep guys healthy but it may still affect the lineup for tonight’s game.
Keys to the Game?
1) Limit the Bruins Top Line – Austin Daae had a hat trick in the third period last night in La Ronge. So he will be confident coming into tonight’s encounter. Daae and Froese do a lot of the damage for the Bruins. As the Stars showed in La Ronge they can put up a team effort to stop a talented top line. But goaltending and luck sometimes factor in as well. All in all, if they stop that top line they have a great chance to win.
2) Keep Streaking – The North Stars have won 5 in a row overall. They have also won 5 in a row at home. They also have some players streaking as well. So may as well keep that roll going.
Out of the Box – Earlier this year the North Stars couldn’t stay out of the box. They’ve done better of late. That return to discipline has coincided with their win streak. The Stars are averaging 5 minors per game at this point in the season. The least penalized teams in the league, like Estevan and Yorkton, are averaging 4 minor penalties per game. So that gap is closing and that is a key tonight. Keep it 5 on 5 and don’t give the Bruins PP a lot of chances.
North Stars Lineup:
Fransoo – Lacoursiere
Yew – Charleson
Erickson – Schmidt
McMillen – Reich – Evans
Yew – Keller – Greenaway
Young – Delainey – Leonenko
Fountain – Petrino – Forbes