SJHL Game #6 Battlefords North Stars at La Ronge Ice Wolves

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 3-1-1-0

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 – 6:45
  • Puck drop – 7:00

Last game recap: – The North Stars beat Kindersley in a shootout on Saturday night. The Stars were in control for most of the game but struggled to beat Evan Weninger. Regan Yew scored late in the second and it looked like that would be enough for the Stars. Ryan Rewerts was looking solid in net and although not busy he was making the saves that came his way.

But in the third a quick shot right off a face off beat Rewerts and tied the game at 1-1. That was the only scoring. Despite chances for both teams late in the game and into OT the game went to a shootout. None of the Kindersley shooters were able to beat Rewerts so Matt Havens shootout goal ended up being the game winner. And it was a beautiful deke move that deserved to win the game.

Storylines:

  • Early Start: The league website says the game starts at 7 so that’s what I am planning for at this point. That means a 6:45 pregame show and best of all a slightly early ETA for our return trip back to the Civic Center after the game. But for the players it is a slight difference to what they are used to so far. They will have to move all of their preparations up by half an hour. Not a huge difference and won’t make a difference I don’t think. The Stars try and do all of the same things at the same time leading up to the game and that’s one of the reasons they do so well on the road. Consistency of preparation. As long as things happen at the same time relative to puck drop there shouldn’t need to be much of an adjustment.
  • The Mel: Guys who haven’t seen the rink in La Ronge are in for a treat. It’s unique. Low roof. Cold. Small ice. Crazy bounces. Fish on the ice. Weird shaped bench. It’s all part of the experience. And it is something that should be experienced. But it’s also different and presents some different challenges. Guys who have played there before will be key to help the new guys on the ice. It’s easy to get in trouble and out of position in La Ronge because the puck can move from one end of the ice to the other in a heart beat.
  • Sherwood: This will be the first time this season that the North Stars will face a Sherwood division team. That division right now is being led by Melfort and the Ice Wolves are currently in last. But they sport at 2-2 record and have allowed just 10 goals in those 4 games. That’s a much better defensive effort than they were showing last season.
  • SJHL Showcase: I was in Warman on Tuesday to check out the showcase. I had a chance to chat with some scouts who like the format and some who don’t. Personally I don’t like it because guys like Robin Yew, Connor Vermeulen, Brock Weston, Nick Fountain, Jordan Townsend and Kurtis Redding were left sitting at home. The guys who were there looked good. A lint of Regan Yew, Brady O’Sullivan and Matt Saharchuk were dominant at times. Kendall Fransoo had several big hits and nice defensive plays. Reed Delainey and Matt Havens were on the scoresheet as well and Connor Sych looked solid. Brenden Heinrich and Ryne Keller did what they are most known for including take aways, hits and shots. Michael Statchuk and Jake Erickson were sharp on defence and Rewerts did well in his stint in net. A lot of interest was shown in some of the Stars and I am sure lots of scouts will be following this team this year.
  • Familiar Faces: The La Ronge Ice Wolves have a couple of familiar faces on their roster. Kent Walchuk played for the AAA Stars as did Zach Nedelec. Nedelec is listed as being from Meota. Jared and Joel Blacquiere are from Edam. Former Kindersley Klipper Colby Daniels skates for La Ronge after being traded as part of the deal that sent Owen LaClare to the Klippers. Daniels also played for the AAA Stars. Bryce Fiske is still midget aged and I believe would be sent back to the Stars if he was re-assigned back to midget. And Kyler Wilkinson was with the North Stars in preseason a couple of seasons ago.
    NOTE: The Blaquiere’s are not in the lineup tonight for La Ronge. They are away at a family function.
  • Penalties: The Ice Wolves are the most penalized team so far this season. That’s the dubious honour that the North Stars had for a lot of last season. La Ronge averages 27.5 PIMs so far but keep in mind it’s very early and one game can skew the numbers. The North Stars are 4th in the league at just 15.4 PIMs per game. The North Stars power play hasn’t been great yet this year bit the talent is there to be a potent force so the Ice Wolves could get in trouble if they spend too much time in the box.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars – 3) Evan Weninger 2) Ryan Rewerts 1) Matt Havens
  • Last game’s Sanberg Collision Collision of the Game: Brock Weston for a first period open ice cruncher.
  • Puns: The Ice Wolves have a player named Cole Porter. A different Cole Porter is a legendary composer and songwriter. So you know I will have to slip in a few puns about Porter having a guy under his skin or maybe he will get a kick out of something.
  • Civic Center Addition: The next North Stars game will be at home on Tuesday night. That’s the first home game since opening night for the North Stars and once again they will face Kindersley. The Civic Center will look slightly different for that game. There could be something new hanging in the rafters.

wpid-20141003_105553.jpg

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Quick Adjustment – The rink will be new to guys. The Ice Wolves style is something the Stars won’t have seen yet. So they will have to stick to their game plan and execute well. And they will need to make quick adjustments starting in the pregame warmup and throughout the game.

2) Goaltending – Whenever the North Stars have done really well in La Ronge they have needed good goaltending. I remember Darren Martin having a good game up there last year. Gudmandson as well as the Stars went back to back in La Ronge. Things happen so quick in that rink and there will be chances, turnovers, mistakes, and a few key saves as well. It could be especially important early in the game as the two teams feel each other out.

3) Respond: – The Ice Wolves look like a bit of a defence first, grinding team so far this year. They haven’t scored a lot of goals and haven’t given up many either. They have a lot of PIMs. If they try to challenge the North Stars then the road team will have to respond. That’s what happened in Melville and the Stars did really well. Lets see if that become a theme this year with what teams think is a smaller North Stars team.

North Stars Lineup:

Tremblay
Rewerts

Statchuk – Vermeulen
Weston – Yew
Fransoo – Sych

O’Sullivan – Delainey – Saharchuk
Rean Yew – Keller – Heinrich
Kanter – Redding – Nachtegaele
Fountain – Townsend – Bond

Scratches: Leonenko, Smith, McMillen, McKinkay, Havens, Erickson

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