Game #51 – North Stars host Notre Dame Hounds – Civic Center

40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

North Stars Record: 30-17-0-3

Broadcast Info:

  • 1050 CJNB in the Battlefords
  • 102.3 CJNS in Meadow Lake
  • Listen Live: http://www.cjnb.com
  • Battlefords Coop Pregame Show – 7:15
  • Puck drop – 7:30

Last game recap – The North Stars lost 2-0 to the Flin Flon Bombers. Bombers D men Simon Derosiers and Cole Nichols scored the goals in the first period, both assisted by former North Star Austin Evans, and that was all the scoring in the game. The North Stars couldn’t find a way to beat Simon Hofley in the Flin Flon net. He stopped 36 shots for the win and the shutout. The North Stars went 0-3 on the power play.

Storylines:

  • Previous Meetings: The North Stars are 4-0 so far this season against the Notre Dame Hounds. But all of those wins have been hard fought. The Stars have won once in overtime and once in a shootout. The two most recent meetings both ended 2-1 with the North Stars winning in St Walburg on Hockey Day in Saskatchewan. The North Stars biggest win was back on November 22nd when they won 5-2.
  • Schedule: The North Stars have had a pretty light schedule of late. That all changes starting tonight. The Stars play 4 games in the next 5 days with a big southern road trip coming up starting Friday in Estevan. The North Stars face Weyburn on Saturday night and Notre Dame again on Sunday. Then the North Stars will just have the two home and home games with Kindersley left on the schedule. After tonight the Stars only have one home game left on the regular season schedule.
  • Kramer Division: The North Stars are now 6 points back of Kindersley in the Kramer. But the Stars now have a game in hand on the Klippers. At this point the North Stars must run the table and get some help in order to catch the Klippers. But Kindersley has tough games left against Notre Dame and Humboldt. So that could change but right now the division title is looking like a long shot. That would leave the North Stars in a battle with Melville in a 4 vs 5 seed matchup. And right now the Mills would have home ice. Melville is 7 points ahead of the North Stars but the good guys have 3 games in hand. With just 6 games left, and 4 this week, there is a lot left to play for prior to playoffs.
  • Ice Fishing Derby: On the weekend out on Jackfish Lake the North Stars held one of their annual fundraisers and one of their biggest fundraisers. The Jackfish Lake Ice Fishing Derby was once again a huge success thanks to the work of Darren Huxley and a team of volunteers, sponsors and of course the players and staff of the North Stars. Terrance Grams (what a great name for a winner of a contest involving the weight of the fish) won the grand prize with a fish OVER 11 POUNDS! For more follow the link: http://www.northstars.ca/news_article/show/351267?referrer_id=618157

Notes:

  • Lineups: The North Stars should be close to having a fully healthy lineup again as Brenden Heinrich should be close to a return. There was some concern about Dillon Forbes possibly being suspended after a late penalty against Flin Flon. There’s nothing on the SJHL’s disciplinary report but that’s not always the most reliable source.
  • Shots: The North Stars lead the league in shots on goal and are 4th best in limiting shots against. Every rink seems to be different in what counts as a shot and what doesn’t. And sometimes the shots don’t really seem that accurate. But over the course of 50 games some of that should even out. That’s a large enough sample size to draw a few conclusions. There are some advanced stats in hockey these days like Fenwick and Corsi which are not tracked in the SJHL. But getting shots for and limiting shots against does correlate well to wins. That’s no surprise as the teams who have high shots for and low shots against are Yorkton, Melville and Melfort. Interestingly, Kindersley has more shots against than they have shots for and they get outshot in the third period. Playing with leads and with Tyrell King in goal has allowed the Klippers to get away with that.
  • Tough Division: With a win tonight the Notre Dame Hounds could improve to 22-22-2-5 on the season which would be a .500 record. That would make the Kramer the only division in the SJHL with all 4 teams at or above .500. Right now both the Kramer and Viterra divisions would send all 4 of their teams to playoffs with just 2 Sherwood teams making the dance.

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Physicality – The Notre Dame power play on the road isn’t great. And they’ve given up 10 short handed goals this season, including 7 on the road. You never want to take penalties so discipline is always a key. But a couple of penalties that stem from trying to be aggressive and physical aren’t the end of the world.

2) Play with a lead –  The North Stars are +9 (54GF and 45GA) in third period scoring. The Hounds are -10 (42GF and 52GA) in the final frame. The North Stars style is also usually conducive to strong final pushes. This league has been very tough for teams who fall behind this season. The North Stars have great thirds, play well with a lead and win almost every time when they score first. So get a lead to play with.

3) Depth – It might not have as big an impact on tonight’s game but the North Stars have no problem rolling all 4 lines and 3 D pairs. The Hounds have been short handed several times this season against the North Stars in terms of forwards. They’ve used APs and played with 10 or 11 forwards at times. The Stars can use their depth to their advantage and of course their depth will come in handy this week with so many games this weekend to come.

North Stars Lineup:

Martin
Gudmandson

Forbes – Fransoo
Erickson – Schmidt
Yew – Charleson

McMillen – McColgan – Keller
Young – Blair – Leonenko
Quinn – Petrino – Heinrich
Fountain – Reich – Delainey

Scratches: Lacoursiere, Greenaway, Regan Yew

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