SJHL Game #1 – Home Opener – Battlefords North Stars host Kindersley

North Stars 2014 Record: 35-17-0-3 – Kramer Division Champs

NorSask North Stars Hockey Broadcast Info:

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

Last game recap: – This is game 1 of the season. The last time the North Stars played? A loss to Melville way back in Early April. That ended a pretty remarkable season that will live long in the memory of North Stars fans. A 4-12 start all the way back to division winners.

Storylines:

  • Kramer Division Champs: The North Stars will raise a division championship banner to the rafters of the Civic Center prior to the game. The Stars turn around last season was incredible. The way the team came together to over come a really terrible start and pulled off that weekend sweep of Kindersley to clinch the title? Amazing. Truly an amazing season and one I will never forget. That banner will forever remind me of some of the most fun games, interesting players, intense fans and topsy turvy games that I have ever been lucky enough to be a part of. For the returning players I am sure it will provide for even more memories. And for the new players it sets a high bar that they can look to leap over.
  • Turnover: Gone are graduating players Dillon Forbes, Tanner Quinn, Michael Gudmandson, Kyle Schmidt, Cam Blair, Blake Young, Taylor Reich and Ben Greenaway. Not returning this season is Jack Petrino. There were also trades.
    Trades: Braeden Lacoursiere to Flin Flon to complete Cam Blair trade

    • Latrell Charleson to Lloydminster for Brock Weston
    • Luke McColgan to Chilliwack for Spencer Tremblay
    • Darren Martin to Langley for future
    • Adam Smith acquired for futures
    • Matthew Saharchuk acquired from Vernon as future for Betinol
    • Michael Statchuk acquired from Vernon for futures
    • Connor Vermeulen acquired from Dauphin for futures
  • Roster Makeup: The North Stars head into the season with 10 returning players. There are 5 that were picked up in trades. There are 8 recruits including a couple from Alberta and several from the USA. And a couple of players up from the AAA league including from the Battlefords Stars and Saskatoon Contacts. In total there are 18 players with some Junior A experience and 16 of those with significant time at this level. There are 8-10 local players depending on how broad you are with that definition.
  • New Look Staff: Blair Atcheynum is still with the team but in a reduced role as more of a special assistant. Taurean White has come in as the new assistant coach and assistant GM to the boss Kevin Hasselberg. Michelle Beatty has moved on as athletic therapist and has been replaced by trainer Sean Marcellus. The staff was incredibly energetic during preseason and that hasn’t ebbed at all as the season has approached. Travis Harrington is back as the goalie coach as well. That’s a great staff that these players are lucky to get to work with.
  • New Style: This is not going to be the same style of team that North Stars fans may be used to from the last 3 years of Coach Hasselberg’s tenure. Perhaps a little less size and grit and more speed and skill. The defense especially is a unit that will push the tempo, move the puck and force mistakes. There may also be some growing pains as an adjustment period takes place. But I think fans are going to have a lot of fun this season watching the North Stars.
  • Preseason: The North Stars, for the second year in a row, looked very good in preseason. They won the rookie game in Kindersley and then split a home and home with Kindersley before taking two straight from Humboldt. The wins and losses don’t matter in the standings and that part of the season is a distant memory now that the real games have arrived. But it’s always nice to go into a season with a good feeling and confidence.
  • Road Warriors: The North Stars had the SJHL’s best road record last season. Last season they won on the road to close out the regular season and clinch the Kramer Division title. That was against the Kindersley Klippers. Kindersley took the Rivalry Cup last season on the strength of a lot of early season wins.
  • Rivals: Took a while to get to it because it’s game one of the season. But this is a huge rivalry. One of the best in the entire league. The games between these two teams are fast, intense, sometimes over the edge and always so much fun. The North Stars and Klippers. That would be a big game all on it’s own. You add in the other facets of tonight’s game and it’s a recipe for a barn burner.
  • New Uniforms: The North Stars are sporting new home and away uniforms this season with the Stars logo on the front. They still have the LA Kings style black third jerseys as well. Those thirds are my favourite and I think the best in the league. These new uniforms look great as well though and no matter what happens this season the North Stars will look good all year.

Other Notes:

  • Moment of Silence: There will be one tonight for long time North Stars superfan Lee Ballendine. He passed away over the summer and is a big loss for the community. A fan of all local teams including the North Stars and AAA Stars Lee was always supportive, positive, outgoing and excited to be at the rink. A real role model and more than a fan. He will be missed.
  • Off Ice Officials: Tyler and Cheri. They’ve been down in the penalty box keeping time and score, as well as order, most nights that I have been at the Civic Center. But they have and are moving on. Both will be missed as they were excellent at their jobs. There may be some growing pains at times as Cheri turns the reigns over to a new generation.
  • New Rules: There are a few new rules in the league this season. The big one is the one fight rule. You fight and your night is over. The impact that has remains to be seen. And how the referees apply the new rules will be interesting as well.
  • Ag Project: The North Stars were able to harvest their crop Tuesday along Territorial Drive. The Stars would like to thank all those local businesses involved with provided the seed, chemical and fertilizer, elevator space, the labour hours, equipment provided and everyone else involved with the annual Growing with the Stars project.

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Discipline – No brainer here. It was a key every time these two teams met last season. The Klippers were able to get under the Stars skin in the game played early last season. Once the Stars were able to overcome that and settle into their game later in the year they were able to win. It helped that later in the year the Stars were rolling and playing well of course. But a huge difference in those games was discipline.

2) Momentum – Last season the North Stars had an incredible preseason and then got off to that really slow start. Again this year the Stars were looking good in preseason. Now that the games matter nothing should really change. Instead of playing to make the team they are playing to stay on the team. And even though the games now have meaning the way the Stars played shouldn’t change. Fast, loose, intense, uptempo and fun are all words to describe the preseason hockey the North Stars demonstrated. No need to change that now.

3) Emotions: – There will be plenty of them tonight at the Civic Center. Control them, feed off of them, and use them as motivation. This is the home opener and it’s a big deal. But it’s also just another game. Find that perfect balance to intensity and looseness.

North Stars Lineup:

Tremblay
Rewerts

Erickson – Fransoo
Statchuk – Vermeulen
Robin Yew – Weston

Regan Yew – Keller – Heinrich
Nachtegaele – Redding – Smith
Haven – Delainey – O’Sullivan
Saharchuk – Bond – Fountain

Scratched: McKinlay, Sych, Axtman, Townsend, McMillan, Kanter, Leonenko

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1 Comment

  1. Ol'Yeller

     /  September 19, 2014

    Thanks for the great round-up Sir and continued inside info! Here’s to an optimistic outlook and hopes to take it a few steps further this season. My best wishes to you, the coaches, the team, staff and volunteers for an exciting and successful season. Good luck and go hard!

    Ol’Yeller-Edmonton

    Reply

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