North Stars win tense encounter with Broncos

The Battlefords North Stars won another close hockey game last night as they claimed their 9th straight victory.

The Broncos came out of the gates quickly and jumped out to an early lead in the shot department. But Michael Gudmandson made several good saves to keep the game scoreless. It took the Stars about 4 or 5 minutes to really get going and I thought they played very well for the final 15 minutes of the opening period.

Cam Blair was poised for a big game for the North Stars and he had just that last night. The Drake, SK native apparently always plays well against the Broncos, Humboldt is the team he grew up near. Blair opened the scoring when Blake Young was able to work the puck back to the right point. Latrell Charleson’s point shot was deflected by Blair. The puck fluttered up into the air and landed near the goal line. With Pashovitz down the puck eventually trickled in. I’m not sure if Blair got a second touch or if the initial deflection went in. It didn’t matter though as the Stars got in front.

Later in the period with the Stars controlling the play it was Blair scoring again. This time he found himself all alone in the neutral zone. Kyle Schmidt found him with a perfect stretch pass. Blair made no mistake in alone on Pashovitz. The puck was rolling but Blair didn’t panic and snapped a perfect shot past the blocker and just inside the post.

The Stars took a couple of late penalties in the opening period. And the Broncos capitalized when a point shot was stopped by Gudmandson. The rebound was bouncing around and the Stars couldn’t clear before Kyle Oleniuk poked it under the North Stars goalie and in. That made it 2-1 Broncos.

The highlight of the second period was Ben Greenaway landing a huge punch on Justin Lund that knocked the Bronco forward down to the ice. It was a great punch that ended the fight and sparked the Stars. At that point the Broncos had really been playing well. They had a strong second period. Gudmandson was forced into 16 saves in the middle frame even though most of them seemed to come from the outside and were easily handled.

The North Stars came out and dominated the third period. They were in such control that pretty early on coach Dean Brockman used his timeout to try and rally the Broncos. It didn’t work. it was tense and tight and still just a one goal lead for the Stars but they were never not in control in that final period. Cam Blair was set up in the slot by Blake Young and Blair flashed an incredibly quick release. But Pashovitz made the save with the blocker whe nit looked like Blair’s shot was destined for the top corner.

Ben Greenaway had a good game and his line was on the ice late and were able to hem the Broncos in their own zone meaning they didn’t get the goalie pulled and the extra attacker on the ice until just after the final minute began. The Stars did a good job blocking shots and clearing the puck and maintaining their single goal advantage.

With 10 second to go Blair got the puck free near the Stars blueline, Blake Young fired ahead to Taylor Reich who hit the empty net to wrap up the victory.

After the game, coach Hasselberg was pleased with his team’s effort. The way they dominated the third period. And he was happy with the line combinations. Igor Leonenko with Blair and Young certainly impressed. I am sure Young will end up with 2 assists once the scoring plays are corrected. And Blair should end up with a 3 point night.

Quinn, Petrino and Greenaway had a very good game. McColgan, McMillen and Keller showed flashes. Reich was with Fountain and Delainey and that line might need a little more time to gel.

Coach Hasselberg also point out his team hasn’t allowed a 5 on 5 goal in three straight games. And over 220 minutes of play has gone by since Brett Boehm scored a 5 on 5 goal for Yorkton in the first period of a game on January 11th.

The North Stars got some help with Estevan and Yorkton losing as well last night. So all in all it was a great night and the North Stars roll continues. They’ll look to make it a double digit win streak on Friday night in Flin Flon.

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  1. Game #45 – Battlefords North Stars at Flin Flon – Whitney Forum | North Stars Beacon

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