The Battlefords North Stars wrapped up an incredible month of November with yet another win last night at the Civic Center. And they did it in front of their parents and billets.
In the last month the North Stars have found ways to win and seemingly found a different way to win each game. Last night? The special teams won the battle against a very good PP and PK team. And the D chipped in win 3 of the 4 goals.
The first two periods were penalty filled periods with each team spending a lot of time on the power play. In the first it was the North Stars getting 5 chances on the PP. And they scored twice. Off a faceoff win from Ryne Keller the North Stars went Charleson to Forbes and the big D man blasted a one timer just wide. The rebound off the end boards came right to Nick Fountain and he made no mistake. 1-0 North Stars. Forbes is now on a 4 game point streak.
After the Bruins tied the game thanks to a nifty tip from Austin Daae the North Stars responded again. The power play was struggling a bit so coach Hasselberg sent out Jack Petrino as part of a different looking power play unit. The moved worked perfectly. Petrino was up at the left point and with Jake Erickson sliding to the high slot there was room for Kyle Schmidt to go roving. He cut into the slot and was found by Petrino. Schmidt did a Sedinesque tip from the mid to high slot area that beat Gibney to make it 2-1 North Stars.
With the penalties at 5-1 in favour of the North Stars I don’t think anyone was surprised to see the Bruins get a few chances on the man advantage in the second period. The scored after a weak call on Jake Erickson made it a 5 on 3 power play. Michael Gudmandson was excellent last night only being beaten on a redirection and a 2 man advantage. Froese scored to tie the game.
I thought the third was the best period of the game. And that’s probably not surprising considering it was the period with the fewest penalties called. But the Stars killed a penalty when Robin Yew was sent off for high sticking. And when they got their chance they scored.
When Latrell Charleson blasted a point shot through traffic to score the Stars 3rd power play goal of the game it was an insurance marker. That’s because a little less than 2 minutes earlier Braden Lacoursiere fired a point shot of a leg and passed Gibney. Not the prettiest goal but not many in the Civic Center seemed to care. For Lacoursiere that’s now 2 goals and both have been game winners.
Charleson was shorted an assist but when that is fixed will be up to 17 points this season. That’s closing him in on top 5 in the league. Kyle Schmidt and Jake Erickson are also in the top 15 as the North Stars D has been a nice source of offense this season.
Michael Gudmandson improved to 4-0 as a North Star with a 1.75GAA and a .952 save percentage. Gudmandson doesn’t have enough starts to qualify but that GAA would be good for 2nd in the league. Darren Martin is also in the top 10.
So the North Stars have won 6 in a row at home. They have won 6 in a row overall. They finished Movember with a record of 10-1-0-2 to improve from 4-12 coming into the month to 14-13-0-2 heading to December. And now we are in the second half of the season so the hard work is no where near over. But who would doubt this group is up for the challenge? I don’t. And I have no doubt they will continue to work hard, have fun and find ways to win.
After the game the North Stars had a chance to party with their parents and billets and some fans. It was a great event with a silent auction and even a rookie dance off that should have been won by Reed Delainey. My personal favourite for laughter value was definitely Darren Martin.
It was great to meet some of the parents that I hadn’t had a chance to meet yet and to chat with as many of them as I could. The North Stars have a team full of good kids and that’s in part because their parents are good people. They are all so kind when speaking with me and thankful for what I do as a play by play guy. It’s a great job because I get paid to watch hockey so it’s icing on the cake when so many parents say such nice things. And it is truly appreciated. I wish them all safe travels wherever they are headed and hope to see them all again soon.
There were some trades today with the December 1st roster cut down deadline. Interesting to see the moves Estevan made with La Ronge. And Brandon Long is back in the SJHL with Humboldt. That’s very interesting. Looking forward to seeing Long again soon. The North Stars didn’t need to make any moves and I doubt they will anytime soon.