Game#36: North Stars host Flin Flon Bombers – Civic Center

40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

North Stars Record: 17-16-0-2

Last game recap – The North Stars lost to Kindersley last night, 3-1 the final. It was scoreless after a tight checking first period. The North Stars best chances came on the power play but they couldn’t convert. A couple of times on the man advantage the Stars had good puck movement and a couple shots on each PP. Nick Fountain hit the crossbar although he seemed pretty sure after the game that the puck had gone in. It was immediately waived off by the referee. The Klippers best chance came when Michael Gudmanson couldn’t clear the puck. Colby Daniels threw it out front and a quick shot was gloved by Gudmandson as he dove back into his net.

The Klippers opened the scoring early in the second period on the power play. A Connor Veroba point shot hit Dillon Forbes and deflected past Gudmandson. That was the only offense of the middle frame.

In the third Luke McColgan drove to the net and popped home his own rebound to tie the game. But the lead lasted just 23 seconds. Daniels set up Lauder on a 2-on-1 and Lauder was able to cut around Gudmandson and slide the puck home.

The North Stars had chances with their net empty but couldn’t tie the game. Eventually Austin Yano scored into the empty net to wrap up the scoring. The Klippers are now 5-0-0-1 against the North Stars this season.

After a great run of games in November the North Stars have now lost 3 of their last 4.

Storylines:

  • Previous Meetings: The North Stars are 2-0 against the Bombers so far this season. The Stars blanked the Bombers 2-0 on November 23rd at the Civic Center and followed that up with a 4-3 win up in Manitoba on November 26th. Michael Gudmandson is 2-0 versus Flin Flon with a .952 save percentage and a 1.5GAA. Devin Buffalo has taken the loss in both games despite good save percentage numbers. He’s been outstanding for the Bombers this season. Nick Fountain has 2 goals and 2 assists in the 2 games. He obviously enjoys playing Flin Flon.
  • Teddy Beat Toss: The Rainbow Toyota Teddy Bear Toss is tonight at the Civic Center. Bring a donation to the game and chuck it on the ice when the North Stars score their first goal. The Teddy Bears will make their way to children who otherwise might not have a present to open on Christmas. And no child should have to go through the holidays without a present to open.
  • 2013: The year of 2013 will come to an end in a few weeks. Tonight is the North Stars final game of the calendar year. The Stars are 24-23-1-6 in regular season games in 2013 so if they avoid a regulation loss tonight they will finish the calendar year above .500. And interestingly the Stars have just ONE overtime loss in the entire year. Lots of shootout wins and shootout losses. And a couple OT wins in that stretch. But if they get to OT they usually win or go to a shootout.
  • Tight Sherwood: The Bombers are second in their division at the moment and just 2 points back of first place Nipawin. They are also just 3 ahead of 4th place Melfort. The Bombers and Ice Wolves are hovering around .500 and one of the two will likely make a little run at some point and put pressure on the Hawks. The Sherwood hasn’t been the best division so far this year but there are 4 good teams and it’s sure been interesting to track them as they battle.
  • Boehm: The Flin Flon Bombers recently traded one of their top scorers. Boehm is now in Yorkton. There has always been a nice rivalry between these two teams. And there could have been some bad blood between the Stars and Bombers because of the hit from behind Boehm threw in Flin Flon that knocked Braden Lacoursiere out of the game.
  • Perfect: The Bombers are 13-0 when leading after 40 minutes of play. They have 15 wins overall. It probably speaks to how good Buffalo is that if he has a lead he makes it stand up.
  • Improving: The Bombers have played better of late. Seems like they’ve found a good mix. 3-1-1 in their last 5 games and 2 wins in a row. They are still struggling to score goals though. In their last 5 games they have scored 10 goals in regulation time. Cam Blair has been back in the Flin Flon lineup the last 3 games after missing a month and that certainly helps their team.
  • Former Team Mates: One of the most recent pick ups for the Bombers is Peter Poulin-Roy. He was acquired from Abitibi of the NOJHL. Last season he was on the same team as North Star forward Nick Fountain. Poulin-Roy was second on that team in scoring and should help provide some more offense for the Bombers once he gets used to the SJHL.
  • PIMs: Dillon Forbes is still leading the league in PIMs this season. But Flin Flon’s Brock Hounsell is now hot on his heels. And the Bombers Dillon McCombie is up to 4th on the list. The Bombers are now leading the league in PIMs after it looked like Nipawin and the North Stars might run away with that distinction this earlier this year.
  • Rookie Goalies: I was talking about this with Kindersley’s play by play guy before last night’s game. The goaltending in the SJHL has been terrific this season. And that’s after losing Jesse Wilkins, David Jones, Connor Creech, Matt Hrynkiw and others from last year. But the rookies have been amazing. 8 of the top 13 goalies in the league, in GAA, are rookies. Tyrell King has been great for Kindersley and he’s 7th in GAA at 2.23. That’s remarkable. Darren Martin from the North Stars is just one of a vast number of fantastic rookie goalies and if I was a scout or coach from an American Div.1 University I would be up here recruiting ASAP.

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Leaders: With Kyle Schmidt out of the lineup for some maintenance heading into the Christmas break. And with Tanner Quinn out of the lineup as well the North Stars have key leadership missing from the lineup. So guys like Forbes and McColgan will have to step up as the team must focus on finishing tonight’s game before leaving for the Christmas break.

2) Teddy Bears: The Stars always have fast starts and when they score early they seem to really take off. So let’s get an early one on the board and get the Teddy Bears on the ice as early as possible. There’s nothing worse than the tension of the Teddy Bears waiting to be tossed.

3) Crowd: – There are a few senior hockey games tonight but I am hopeful that the Stars will have a big crowd tonight for their final home game of 2013. There should be some former North Stars in the building. There will be a Coach’s Corner in the Hot Stove Lounge after the game. And hopefully a boisterous and festive crowd out to have some fun will help push the North Stars to a final win of 2013.

North Stars Lineup:

Gudmandson
Martin

Forbes – Fransoo
Robin Yew – Lacoursiere
Charleson – Erickson

McMillen – McColgan – Evans
Regan Yew – Reich – Keller
Young – Delainey – Leonenko
Fountain – Petrino – Greenaway

Scratches: Heinrich, Quinn (sick), Schmidt (maintenance)

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