The Losing Streak is Over

The Battlefords North Stars skated off with a 3-2 overtime win last night against Notre Dame.

Robin Carlson was back in the lineup last night after a few games in a row as a healthy scratch. He opened the scoring for the Stars. Streaking up the right wing and into Hounds territory Carlson was able to snap a perfectly placed wrist shot across the goalie and just inside the far post. Alexi Thibaudeau could do nothing to stop the shot and it was 1-zip Stars.

Igor Leonenko had another strong game as he’s been good on this road trip. Igor has been more physical and it has raised his overall game. Jake McMillen set up Leonenko in the neutral zone with a nice drop pass through his legs. Leonenko got into the attacking zone but his chance was stopped. The Stars had 2 power plays in the first period and both were abbreviated. Twice the Stars took hooking calls as they took themselves off the power play.

Darren Martin had maybe his best game of the season last night. He made a good blocker save midway through the first and then followed that up with 2 or 3 highlight reel stops with his glove. A 3 on 1 rush developed for Notre Dame when Jake Erickson tripped over part of a broken and discarded stick as he was skating backwards. Martin was able to dive out and knock the puck away from the front of the net though before the Hounds could score. With 5 left in the first AP player Jordan Berger split the D with speed and was in alone from the hashmarks. Martin with another amazing glove stop.

In the second period Igor Leonenko came out of the penalty box after his roughing call ended. He went up ice and hit the inside of the post with a perfect shot. The puck stayed out and it was still 1-0. Reed Delainey had a good chance in the second period but his shot fluttered just wide. Jack Petrino’s line had a great shift midway through the second period. Petrino has had two good games back to back but it seems like no matter what he does he can’t buy a goal.

At the end of that great shift the Hounds were able to head up ice on a potential 2 on 1. Blake Young raced back to help take away the odd man rush with a good back check. A couple more really good saves from Darren Martin, and another fantastic glove save, kept it 1-0 later in the second. But a rebound after a point shot found it’s way right to Sam Aulie and he made no mistake. That goal made it 1-1 and came about 2 minutes after Tanner Quinn hit the outside of the post.

Early in the third Quinn did a nice toedrag and snapped a shot into the glove of Thibaudeau. Darren Martin’s best save of the third may have been a right pad/toe save with 12 left in regulation. Robin Carlson had a short handed break after stealing the puck in the Hounds zone. But he was stopped by the glove of the Hounds goalie. The two goalies dueling with each other to come up with the best save of the night. Martin’s save on Berger in the first probably took the cake.

The Hounds scored a power play goal in the third after Ben Greenaway went off for instigating a fight. There was a 5 minute major for a head shot given to Austin Lightfoor. Greenaway saw the hit on Blake Young and went over to fight Lightfoot. The linesman kind of got in the way and a fight never developed. After all the penalties were sorted out the Hounds had a power play. A point shot beat Martin on the glove side low along the ice.

Greenaway did the right thing to protect his teammate and didn’t deserve for his penalty to lead to the wining goal. And it didn’t. Regan Yew forced home the puck on a rebound to tie the game. With less than 5 seconds remaining Tanner Quinn’s shot went thought the goalie’s 5 hole and then trickled along the redline and somehow stayed out. I couldn’t believe it.

Quinn was one of the guys on the ice when Estevan scored to tie the game with 3 seconds left on Friday. So was Dillon Forbes. And Forbes set up the game winner. Late in OT Forbes rushed the puck quickly up the left wing and into Hounds territory. He then fired a pass across to the right wing for Reed Delainey who fired the puck into the top of the net for a 3-2 North Stars win.

I have to admit it. I got a little tear in my eye when the Stars won. These guys have worked so hard the last few months. They battled and scrapped and fought and deserved a victory. They deserved it for a while. The mental fortitude they showed to not give up last night is ridiculous. I mean, on a 8 game streak without a win and after giving up a tying goal the night before with 3 seconds left and then losing a game they should have won. They then go out and fall behind in the third in another game where they played well. At the end of the day how many teams would have come back from that? The North Stars never folded their tents and gave up. They kept going and I have so much respect for them because of it.

So the streak is over and the Stars try and start a new one today. A win over Weyburn would make for a 2 game winning streak and the Stars have a chance at 5 out of 6 points from this weekend southern road trip. Not bad at all.

By the way a special shoutout to the female Midget AAA Battlefords Sharks. They were in the stands last night cheering on the North Stars. Coach Hasselberg praised them, and all the Stars fans that were on hand, for helping his team. There’s usually not much of an atmosphere in Wilcox for understandable reasons. But the Stars fans, including the Sharks, made it feel like a home game. That was cool.

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1 Comment

  1. Janet Ehrmantraut, Torquay, Sk.

     /  November 3, 2013

    What a great time watching the “STARS” and STARS they are! They never do quit….Their work ethic is unreal. We got our money’s worth once again although the payment was much sweeter this time. Congrats guys!
    [Mike,what interesting, positive, “loyal” comments, as usual!]


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