North Stars sweep southern road trip

The Battlefords North Stars went 3-3 this weekend on their southern road trip finishing off with a 3-0 win over Notre Dame last night. They also beat Weyburn and Estevan on their travels.

Estevan's Affinity Place on Friday. The Stars went 3-3 down south. Photo courtesy Lee Erickson

Estevan’s Affinity Place on Friday. The Stars went 3-3 down south. Photo courtesy Lee Erickson

Darren Martin made 35 saves for his first Junior A shutout as the North Stars were able to grind out the victory. For the Stars that’s their 4th straight win and they are now 17-1-0-1 in their last 19 games. Martin is now 4-0 this season against the Hounds as the North Stars swept the 6 game season series.

Playing their third game in three days, and 4th in a 5 day span, the Stars clung to their 2 goal lead in a final period in which they were outshot 16-7. But most of those shots were from the outside as the Stars kept the Hounds from the front of the net. When they did get in close? Darren Martin was there to make every save.

Reed Delainey and Igor Leonenko got back in the lineup as the Stars used fresh legs to help claim the victory. Delainey opened the scoring in the first period with a power play deflection of a Dillon Forbes point shot. Braden Lacoursiere also got back in the lineup and he was solid alongside Robin Yew on defense. Both Latrell Charleson and Tanner Quinn were out of the lineup. Nothing serious just some bumps and bruises for those two. Nick Fountain’s game maybe isn’t suited to the Olympic sized ice in Wilcox and he was a healthy scratch.

Cam Blair scored for the 4th straight game as he got the Stars another power play goal. This time in the second period. Blair had 4 goals and 6 points in 4 games last week. He’s been exactly as good as the Stars hoped when they grabbed him at the trade deadline.

Delainey then got an empty net goal to wrap the game up late. The North Stars went 2-6 on the power play with the Hounds going 0-6. Winning the special teams battle was a big key for the Stars to get the win. With tired legs for the North Stars as the game wore on the Hounds were able to mount the pressure but Martin could not be beat. So he goes 2-0 last week with just 1 goal against as he makes a run at goalie of the week. Dillon Forbes and Cam Blair could also be in the running for some weekly awards.

After a 4 win week and 3 for 3 on a long road trip the SJHL power ranking and CJHL top 20 rankings should be interesting this week as well.

But most importantly? The North Stars still have a shot at grabbing a division title. They need Humboldt to win on Tuesday against Kindersley. For some reason I was under the impression that game was in Kindersley. But it is actually in Humboldt. The Broncos get a win, in regulation or a shootout, and the North Stars will go into their season ending home and home with Kindersley with a chance. The Stars would have to win both, and maybe would have to win both in regulation, but they would control their own destiny.

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