Game #2 – Estevan Bruins at Battlefords North Stars – Civic Center

40th Anniversary Season – 2014 Kramer Division Champions

North Stars Regular Season Record: 36-17-0-3

Best of 7 Series: Bruins lead 1-0

Schedule:

Game #1 – Estevan Bruins 4 – Battlefords North Stars 1
Game #2 – Estevan Bruins at Battlefords North Stars, Sunday March 16th @ 7:30pm – Civic Center

Game #3 – Battlefords North Stars at Estevan Bruins, Tuesday March 18th @ 7:30pm – Affinity Place
Game #4 – Battlefords North Stars at Estevan Bruins, Wednesday March 19th @ 7:30pm – Affinity Place

Game #5 – if necessary) – Estevan Bruins at Battlefords North Stars, March 21st @ 7:30pm – Civic Center

Game #6 – (if necessary) – Battlefords North Stars at Estevan Bruins, March 23rd @ 7:30pm – Affinity Place

Game #7 – (if necessary) – Estevan Bruins at Battlefords North Stars, March 25th @ 7:30pm – Civic Center

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 game 1 last night at the Civic Center and in the process lost their home ice advantage in the series. After two weeks off since beating Kindersley to close out the regular season the North Stars showed no signs of rust in a pretty dominant first period. The Bruins were credited with 5 shots but I think one of those was blocked on it’s way to Gudmandson. In any case the North Stars controlled the play and tok a 1-0 lead. Cam Blair scoring what turned out to be the Stars only goal.

Tanner Quinn had a good game and was one of the North Stars who had a good second period. Again the Stars outshot the Bruins but this time the shots don’t tell the story. It wasn’t a great period for the home team and the Bruins got back in the game as the period went on. Matt Gibney made a lot of saves and kept his team in the game but he also saw almost every shot as the North Stars couldn’t get bodies in front. A late Tanner Froese power play marker made it 1-1 heading to the third.

And with a little momentum and belief on their side the Bruins came out with a very good final period. They scored three times and heavily out shot the Stars. Allison, Kosloski and Froese all scored in the final period. The Bruins also had a break away for Froese that was stopped by Gudmandson as Estevan’s dangerous style payed off. Late in the game Latrell Charleson his Nick Egan and Charleson was given a 5 minute major for boarding. I thought Egan turned as he saw Charleson coming. I didn’t think it was deserving of a major. Egan was cut and it sounds like he could be fine to play today.

Storylines:

  • Discipline: The North Stars took a few too many penalties last night as the Bruins power play went 2-5. The North Stars were just 0-2 on the PP as they were given few chances. The Stars want to play an aggressive and physical style which will serve them well over a long series but they have to find a way to take fewer penalties or draw more power plays.
  • Home Ice: The Bruins have stolen away home ice advantage which means the North Stars will have to win a game in Estevan to win the series. That isn’t the end of the world for the team that had the SJHL’s best road record this season. But it does put a little pressure on for game 2 tonight. The last thing the North Stars want to do is fall into a 2-0 hole heading to Estevan on Tuesday.
  • Top Line: The trio of Froese, Kosloski and Daae were excellent last night and especially in the third period. It took them a while to get going but once they got rolling they ended up contributing all 4 goals. Allison was playing on the top line for a shift when he scored. The Bruins play a dangerous style offensively that involves long rink wide passes that create odd man rushes when they work. The Stars will have to find a way to make sure those passes don’t work tonight.
  • Lineups: The Bruins have a few players that are banged up and the North Stars may need to make a change on the back end. Leonenko and Lacoursiere are available to draw into the lineup for the home team. Jack Petrino is day to day and may be ready to go tonight as he is close to being back to full health. I also wonder if we will see the Stars juggle their lines a little as well.
  • Odd man rushes: The North Stars gave up a bunch of 2-on-1s last night and Froese was stopped on a break away. That’s unusual for a Stars team that is noted for it’s strong defensive play. One of the real stories to follow in tonight’s game is the Stars ability to slow down the Bruins through the neutral zone and prevent odd man rushes.

Game Notes:

  • Goody: The only other time this season that Michael Gudmandson allowed more than 3 goals was against the Estevan Bruins. He allowed 8 goals in the 5 games following that 7-6 shootout loss. Gudmandson only lossed back to back games once all season.
  • Firsts: Several North Stars players were playing in their first playoff game last night. Regan Yew picked up an assist for his first SJHL playoff point. Robin Yew, Charleson, Erickson, Delainey, Heinrich, and Nick Fountain got into SJHL playoff action for the first time. Dillon Forbes played his 14th career SJHL playoff game and picked up his first career playoff assist. He had previously posted just 1 goal in the playoffs. That was Gudmandson’s first SJHL playoff start and the first goals he’s allowed in postseason action.

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Balance – The North Stars roll four lines and three D pairs and get contributions from all their skaters when they are playing at their absolute best. In the first period last night it was like that but then it drifted off. The Stars will need to have everyone going tonight.

2) Smart Coach Hasselberg said last night on the post game show that the Stars worked hard but they need to work smart. One of the things they need to be better at is getting bodies in front of the net. They also need to be better at dealing with the Bruins attempts to create odd man rushes. The effort is always there for this team. They always work hard. Tonight they need to work smart.

3) Rebounds – Hand in hand with working smarter. The Stars got a lot of shots last night and there were a lot of rebounds. The home team just wasn’t getting to those rebounds. Gibney did a decent job with rebound control, in part because he could see the shots, but there were some juicy rebounds that the Stars didn’t find. When the Stars are on their game they are swarming on rebounds and loose pucks.

North Stars Lineup:

Gudmandson
Martin

Forbes – Fransoo
Schmidt – Erickson
Yew – Lacoursiere

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

Scratches: Regan Yew, Reed Delainey
Suspended: Charleson (1 game)

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