40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
North Stars Record: 15-13-0-2
Last game recap – The North Stars came from behind to beat Melfort on the road back on Wednesday. After an ugly 1st period and a second that was slightly better the Stars came out with a solid third period and scored 3 unanswered to win the game.
Regan Yew, Blake Young and Kyle Schmidt scored the goals for the North Stars and they managed to get a power play game winner from their captain as they won the special teams battle.
Michael Gudmandson picked up the win. He is now 5-0 as a North Star and the team has won 7 in a row. 6 of those since Goody joined the team.
- Previous Meetings: The North Stars have a regulation win and a shootout win against the Wings this season. The Stars first home win of the year came against the Wings almost exactly a month ago. They also won in a shootout in Weyburn in a game in which Brenden Heinrich scored his first Junior ‘A’ goal to tie the game late. Heinrich has 1 goal in 1 game against the Wings. Luke McColgan does as well. Jake Erickson has 2 assists in the 2 head to head games. Ty McLean and Brian Farkas each have a goal and an assist for the Wings in 2 games.
- Kramer Auctions Shootout Showdown: After tonight’s game there will be a shootout showdown which means during the intermissions the Hot Stove Lounge will be buzzing with auctioneering. Bid on your favourite player and if that player wins the shootout showdown you get half the prize pool. The other half goes to the North Stars. It’s a fun way to raise money. And Kramer Auctions makes it happen. They are a great supporter of local hockey, the North Stars and the SJHL.
- Kramer Division: The North Stars currently have a record that is above .500. There are 6 teams in the league that are currently at or above that mark. Nipawin, Yorkton and Melville are 3. Kindersley, Humboldt and the North Stars are the other three. So half the .500 teams in the league are in the Kramer Division. So it goes without saying that it’s a tough division. And Notre Dame was at .500 until a recent 2 game skid. The Kramer has 4 good teams.
- Games Played Evening Up: The Battlefords North Stars have now played just 1 more game than Humboldt and 2 more than Kindersley. They still have way more games played than Notre Dame but the massive games in hand advantage for the teams in front of them has dwindled and the Stars are still within touching distance of those teams. There is a lot of season left as well but the North Stars will need to keep stringing wins together.
- Goalies: The have been very few goals between these two teams so far this season. Rylan Parenteau has a 1.94GAA in the two games. Darren Martin allowed just 1 goal in his start against the Wings here at the Civic Center. He stopped 34 shots for the win.
- Health: I was at the gym Thursday night and saw a few of the North Stars players who were sick earlier in the week. Greenaway and Charleson in particular. After playing with a slightly short bench in Melfort it will be nice in the Stars can get a little healthier and get some of these key guys back in the lineup. Luke McColgan told me he might be ready by tonight as well. So it will be interesting to see who is in the lineup tonight.
- Travellers: The North Stars have played 17 games away from home and just 13 here at the Civic Center. That balance will be addressed with 4 straight at home here in early to mid-December. The North Stars have 9 wins away from home which is tied for the league lead.
- Home Roll: The Stars are won 6 in a row at home and after starting 0-7 at home they have a chance to get back to .500 at home with a 7-7 record. The Wings have a .500 home record but on the road they have struggled with just 4 wins.
- Different Winners: During their current win streak the North Stars have had a game-winning goal from a different player each night. And their last three game-winning goals have come from D men. Lacoursiere, Forbes and Schmidt. They seem to find different ways to win each time out and it’s been fun to watch.
- Wings Flying: The Red Wings have been playing a lot better of late. Their record is 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games. But prior to that they had really been struggling. It’s a nice run that has come since trading away some veteran players. They are a young team that is figuring out how to win in the SJHL. They have lost a couple in a row but that will just make them even more dangerous.
- Blake Young: He has 12 points in his last 9 games. The Stars have gotten offense from several places in the lineup. But Young has been consistently good the last month. He went through an 8 game streak where he didn’t get a point from mid-October to early November. He’s raised his game since then.
- Defense: We’ve talked about the Stars getting offense from their defense. But we haven’t talked enough about the job they are doing in their own zone. The forwards are included in that of course. As a team the Stars have allowed just 12 goals during their 7 game winning streak.
- Other Notes: The North Stars have a 9-4-0-2 record in 1 goal games. They play well in close encounters.
Some Keys for the Stars:
1) Power – The Wings power play is significantly better on the road than it is at home. The North Stars PP is much better at home than on the road. So there could be special teams goals scored in this game.
2) Tips: The North Stars have done a really good job of late with deflections and rebounds. Earlier in the season they weren’t getting to loose pucks around the net. That has changed. And with good point shots getting through the Stars have scored a lot of goals on deflections lately. The goaltending in this league is so strong this year you need those kinds of goals. Parenteau is playing well so he falls in that category.
Pregame – The North Stars had several players writing SATs this morning. So it’s important that they re-boot after that mental exertion. Get a good nap. Good pre-game meal. And have a good warmup both on and off the ice leading up to the game.
North Stars Lineup:
Schmidt ‘C’ – Erickson
Robin Yew – Lacoursiere
Fransoo – Charleson
McMillen – Reich – Evans
Young – Delainey – Leonenko
Fountain – Petrino – Forbes ‘A’
Regan Yew – Keller – Greenaway
Scratches: Quinn (Sick), Heinrich (Sick), McColgan (Upper Body)