40th Anniversary Season
North Stars Record: 35-17-0-3
- 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 beat Kindersley 5-1 at the Civic Center to set up tonight’s game as a Kramer Division decider. The Stars got out to an early 2-0 lead as the Klippers were twice bit by lightning quick power play goals.
The first came just 3 seconds into a power play as Blake Young powered to the net and forced a backhand shot under Evan Weninger in the Kindersley goal. Midway through the period the Klippers took a too maney men penalty and Young’s record for fastest power play goal was broken. This time it took 2 seconds as Cam Blair slid a backhand shot around Weninger again straight from a face-off win.
That made it 2-0 Stars after 1. Michael Gudmandson deserves credit for a solid opening period, and overall game, and he was especially good in the first 5 minutes as the Klippers came out strong. Also good in that opening 5 minutes? The Taylor Reich line. They had a very good game.
In the second the Stars had numerous chances to extend their lead. There were one time shots in the shot. Back hand chances. Snap shots. Taylor Reich could have scored a couple. Nick Fountain had a glorious chance after a good stick check only to be denied. All the missed chances started to add up and you wondered if it would come back to haunt the North Stars. Connor Garden scored on a warp around to make it 2-1.
That is how the third period started. Jack Petrino’s line was good all night as well and they got on the board when Tanner Quinn walked out of the corner with great patience, went around a big pile up in front and beat Weninger. 1:18 into the final period and the Stars had an insurance goal.
Talyor Reich scored a beauty off the rush beating Weninger over the glove. And Robin Yew scored a late power play goal with a good screen in front from Reed Delainey.
The Klippers got a little frustrated towards the end and took a lot of penalties. The Stars also took a few as these two teams that don’t like each other saw emotions boil over at times.
- Kramer Division: The Kramer Division title comes down to tonight. If the Stars win in regulation they win the division. Any other result and the Klippers are the champs and lock up the second seed heading into playoffs. It all comes down to tonight’s game. The North Stars started 4-12 this season. The Klippers were 11-4-0-1 in their first 16 games. So the North Stars have come from 15 points back to make tonight’s game a decider for the division. What an amazing season it has been in the SJHL and the battles for the playoffs have been amazing!
- Playoff Races: By the way the North Stars still have 3 different spots they could finish in the standings. A regulation win they claim second place. An OT or shootout win and they finish tied with Kindersley on 75 points but with that the Klippers would hold the tiebreak and would get second. The Stars would then finish 4th a point ahead of Melville. A Kindersley OT or shootout win or regulation win and the North Stars end up 5th. Nipawin still has a shot at the Sherwood division title going into their final game of the season against the team they are battling with, Melfort. Flin Flon and Weyburn are still dueling for the final playoff spot.
- Previous Meetings: The Stars are now 2-5 against Kindersley this season after winning in regulation against Kindersley for the first time this season. The previous games don’t really matter anymore. It all comes down to tonight.
- Final Game: It’s already the final game of the regular season? That went by so fast. For the 20 year old players this is the final regular season game of their Junior careers. Add Blake Young to that list as well as he heads off to UMD next season. You know they want to go out on a high on both sides of the ice.
- Road Wins: The North Stars will finish the season with the top road record in the league thanks in part to their current 9 game road winning streak. The Stars haven’t lost on the road since December 17th when they fell 3-1 in Kindersley. One more road win will give them a great send off into playoffs.
- Award Winners: More on this later in a separate post. But here are the North Stars Award Winners:
MVP – Michael Gudmandson
Outstanding Defenceman – Kyle Schmidt
Most Dedicated – Dillon Forbes
Rookie of the Year – Jake Erickson
Fan’s Choice Award – Blake Young
Most Improved – Nick Fountain
Humanitarian Award – Braden Lacoursiere
- Power Play: The Stars power play scored 3 times last night against the league’s top penalty killing unit. That moves the North Stars up to 48 power play goals this season. The Stars are still 5th in the league on the power play but have a shot to move up to 4th.
- Packed House: There were 1233 people at the game last night at the Civic Center. Hopefully the Klippers get another big crowd for what is a huge game. These two teams deserve a great atmosphere tonight.
- WCEC: The Kindersley Klippers have been terrific on home ice this season. With 20 wins and just 6 regulation losses at the WCEC this season the Klippers are the second best home team in the league behind the Yorkton Terriers.
- Special Teams: The North Stars are now 4th in the league on the PK but just a fraction behind Yorkton in third. The Stars have the league’s 5th best power play for the season. Interestingly, the Stars have been short handed more than anyone other than Nipawin. Only Melville and Kindersley have had more chances on the power play. So the North Stars have played less 5 on 5 than almost every other team. One other note, the Stars have the league’s best road penalty kill.
- Blowouts: The North Stars are 6-2 in games decided by 4 goals, as last night’s game was, but they haven’t played in a game decided by more than 4 goals. Every other team in the league this season has had a game decided by 5 goals and several have had game that had a margin of victory or 6 goals or more. Even when the Stars started 4-12 they weren’t being blown away. They have played a lot of close games all season long.
- Tie Games: The Klippers have a bit of a strange stat. They are 4-1-0-1 when tied after 2 periods of play. Just 6 times this season that has happened? The Stars have played 14 games that were tied up going to the third. Every team in the league, except La Ronge with 7, has played at least 10 games that were knotted up after 40 minutes. Just a little stats quirk that I found interesting.
Some Keys for the Stars:
1) Discipline – No brainer here. It was a key last night. And it will be again.
2) 20s – Forbes and Schmidt on the back end and Michael Gudmandson in net. Tanner Quinn, Cam Blair and Taylor Reich up front with goals. Ben Greenaway with one of his best of the season. The 20 year old players led the way for the North Stars last night. Blair is now on a 5 game goal scoring streak. You need your top players to be just that in big games so the 20s have to set the tone again.
3) Dirty Areas: – Last night it was the North Stars getting to those areas and they rewarded. Which ever team pays the price and gets to the tough areas on the ice tonight will win the game.
North Stars Lineup:
Forbes – Fransoo
Schmidt – Erickson
Charleson – Robin Yew
Quinn – Petrino – Heinrich
Young – Blair – Delainey
Fountain – Reich – Greenaway
Regan Yew – McColgan – Leonenko
Scratches: Lacoursiere, Keller (sick), McMillen (susp)