For the second straight night the Battlefords North Stars jumped out to an early lead and this time were able to wrap up a regulation victory.
It took the Stars just 12 seconds to open the scoring in Yorkton. Tonight it took a bit longer but not a lot. Brady O’Sullivan and Matt Saharchuk teamed up to spark a rush that culminated with Reed Delainey scoring a tap in. Saharchuk’s back door feed made Delainey’s job easy and the North Stars were up 1-0 after just 2 minutes and 12 seconds.
Another odd man rush and another tap in made it 2-0. This time it was Matt Havens doing the dishing and Michael Statchuk scoring the goal. Brenden Heinrich is on a two game point streak as he chipped in with an assist on the goal.
The North Stars made it 3-0 after just a little over 12 minutes as Brady O’Sullivan scored from Saharchuk and Erickson. Saharchuk and O’Sullivan each had two points and the North Stars speed was carving the Mills apart. But Ben Mack’s solo rush and neat finish in off the bar just 22 seconds later made it 3-1.
That was the score when the third period started. The Stars started short handed in the final period (I am taking the high road on the refs) and the Mills got within a goal with a power play marker. Lane Harbor’s third of the year got the Mills within a goal.
And after that I thought the North Stars played a pretty great road third period. The good guys in black were able to shut things up pretty good allowing just 7 shots on goal in the final period. Giving up so few shots to a team on home ice that was trying to come from behind is encouraging.
Late in the final frame the Stars won a draw in their own zone, worked up ice and battled to find a loose puck at the side of the net. Delainey had kind of bungled a 2-on-1 with Fountain with a bad pass. He made up for it as Fountain made a nice move to the slot and got off a shot. Eventually the puck came to Delainey at the side of the net with help from Founts and the Edam product fed Saharchuk back door for a tap in. That made it 4-2 and Heinrich sealed the deal officially with an empty netter. Jake Erickson ended up with 2 points and played much more like the D-man we saw last year. After a bit of a slow start that was nice to see.
Connor Sych was back in the lineup tonight and looked solid. McKinlay built on his strong game against Yorkton and overall the defence for the Stars was excellent. Two goals that no goalie would have stopped and otherwise Spencer Tremblay made all the saves.
All in all a very nice road game from the Stars and a big 4 point swing through two tough places to win. Matt Saharchuk now has 7 points in 4 games. Brenden Heinrich has 3 points in his last two games. Nick Fountain was on the score sheet tonight. Havens chipped in with a nice assist and a couple defencemen were on the score sheet as well.
Next up the North Stars head to Kindersley on Saturday night for yet another matchup with the Klippers. They will go in to that game riding a two game winning streak. As will the Klippers who haven’t played since beating the Stars on Saturday. That game sets up really well and should be a barn burner.