Game #18 – North Stars at Notre Dame Hounds

The North Stars visit the Notre Dame Hounds tonight here in Wilcox. It’s the first meeting of the season between these two new division rivals. Both teams have 4 wins so far this season. The Hounds have only played 11 games however while the Stars have played 17

Last game recap – The North Stars lost 3-2 in a shootout last night in Estevan. It was a game they didn’t deserve to lose based on the way they played. They were flat out dominant for long stretches of the game. They created way more chances but they didn’t finish. That’s the only criticism. Had several 2 on 1 chances. Had a few breakaways. Had chances in the shootout as well as Darren Martin was making all the saves. The Stars blocked shots, hit, stayed out of the penalty box and still fell just short.

Storylines:

  • Bounce Back: How quickly can the Stars bounce back after last night’s heart breaker? The Stars have to find a way to mentally recover from that punch to the gut last night and re-group to face the Hounds today. That’s a big key.
  • Positives: There are a bunch of them to take from last night’s game. The Stars got a point which is something they haven’t done in a while. They fixed some of the things that had been going against them like taking penalties. All in all they took a big step forward last night. The result wasn’t what they wanted but looking back on it this morning you can see a lot of reasons to be positive after that performance.
  • Big Ice: It’s something we will talk about a lot over the course of tonight’s game. The Hounds play on Olympic size ice. The Stars will have to adjust their game a little or should I say they will have to find a way to play the same game but in the right areas. It’s the same size ice between the face-off dots. Puck support is important as is finding a way to force the Hounds to have to play in small areas.
  • Lineup: I am always interested to see who is in and who is out of the Stars lineup. After last night’s game it might be tough to make too many changes but there are guys itching to get back in the lineup. Will the big ice affected who plays? 3 in 3 this weekend means fresh legs will be important. Plus with a bug going through the team the Stars health could affect the lineup as well.

Some keys to the Game?

1) Finish – Obviously the Stars will look to finish the chances they are creating. Once this team starts scoring goals the sky is the limit for how good they can be.

2) Positivity – The North Stars did so much so well last night. They need to embrace the positives from the game and forget about the negative outcome. The work they did last night was a big step forward. Now is not the time for a step back.

3) Ice –  How will the Stars deal with the big ice? The Hounds, as are most teams, are always much better at home than they are on the road. They know that rink well so it will be interesting to see how the Stars respond.

Stars Lineup:

Martin*
Parker

Erickson – Schmidt
Forbes – Keller
Charleson – Lacoursiere

Young – McColgan – Regan Yew
Quinn – Petrino – Greenaway
McMillen – Delainey – Leonenko
Carlson – Reich – Heinrich

Scratches: Fountain, Fransoo, Evans, Robin Yew

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