SJHL Game #9 – Battlefords North Stars at Flin Flon Bombers

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 4-2-2-0

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 – 6:15
  • Puck drop – 6:30
  • Twitter.com/NorthStarsVoice

Last game recap: – The North Stars lost in regulation last night in Nipawin, 3-1 the final score. The North Stars actually opened the scoring pretty early in the first period. Michael Statchuk took a pass from Reed Delainey and from the high slot snapped a rolling puck past Joe O’Brien. It was Stats’ 3rd goal this season and it came at the 3:33 mark of the first.

The Hawks tied the game up less than a minute later. A defensive break down led to a partial 2-on-1 with Garrett Dunlop and Carter Danczak. Dunlop to the former Star and then back again and Dunlop scored. It was the start of a good game for Danczak. The Stars had a lengthy 5-on-3 power play in the first and it looked good. The puck moved quick and there were plenty of shots. But they were unable to find the back of the net. Later in the period the Hawks had back to back power plays but the Stars PK stood tall.

In the second the Stars killed a couple more penalties including a bogus call on Kendall Fransoo that carried over to the third period. But they fell behind when Carter Doerksen scored with a point shot through a screen and into the top corner. The Stars had another 5-on-3 in the final 6 minutes of the second that lasted for almost a full 2 minutes. Again they couldn’t score. O’Sullivan just missed a chance at the side of the net that may have hit the point.

In the third the Hawks scored on a power play when a turnover led to a loose puck that was hacked towards the net and got by Rewerts. That made it 3-1 and the Hawks controlled the play the rest of the way. They won seemingly every faceoff and cycled away large chunks of the clock.

The North Stars went to the goalie pull with 3 minutes left but couldn’t find a goal and it finished 3-1.

Storylines:

  • Former Stars: Austin Evans and Braden Lacoursiere will be facing their former team. For Lacoursiere it will be the first time he’s faced the Stars since moving North. He was part of the trade that got the Stars Cam Blair last season. Lacoursiere ended up being the futures that completed that trade.
  • Offense: The Bombers are the top scoring team in the league so far with three guys in the top 20 in league scoring. And they just got another good player back from the WHL in Lance Yaremchuk. This is a formidable lineup with multiple lines that can score. With 31 goals for in 7 games the Bombers are putting pucks in the net like crazy. They also give up plenty of goals as well.
  • Bounce Back: The North Stars are coming off their most listless performance of the season. That was the first time this season where they flat out didn’t play very well. They need to show some bounce back tonight. it’s going to be a tough test. But coming off a loss like that maybe the Bombers are a good opponent for the Stars. Being such a good team and a formidable opponent will hopefully bring out the best in the Stars as well.
  • Whitney Forum: It’s an old hockey rink and it’s a beautiful place to play and watch hockey. The corners are tough and very shallow and the nets usually have a hard time staying in the proper spot. But the names in the rafters and the sights, smells and sounds are all about hockey. It’s a favourite stop for players and broadcasters alike. It’s just a bit of a shame it is so far away.
  • Strength versus Strength: The Flin Flon Bombers have not lost in regulation at home so far this season. 4 wins and an overtime loss. The Stars have been very good on the road so far with last night’s loss being their first in regulation on the road so far. I love when games set up like this to be a battle between two strong teams.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) Joe O’Brien 2) Michael Statchuk 1) Carter Danczak
  • Last game’s Sanberg Collision Collision of the Game: Michael Statchuk
  • Power Play Goals: Chris Rauckman leads the league with 4. Austin Calladine has 3. The Bombers have 4 players in the top 10 in power play goals. Rauckman leads the league with 9 overall.
  • Out of town: The Kinderlsey Klippers lost in La Ronge last night. They have a tough test tonight in Melfort. With Notre Dame unbeaten so far the Kramer is shaping up to be tough again this year. It will be interesting to see how Kindersley responds in Melfort against a very good Mustangs team.

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Speed  – The Stars didn’t look quick last night. The Hawks did a good job taking that away with their forecheck and puck possession. That’s not something I expect to happen too many times this season. I really want to see the North Stars unleash their speed and transition game tonight.

2) Positioning – The Bombers can really score as we have seen. So the Stars will have to make sure they are in the right spots to take away scoring chances and to be able to prevent Flin Flon from firing on all cylinders. That will also allow the Stars to transition to offence more effectively as well.

3) Power Play – Let’s say it. The Stars power play needs to start scoring. They have the players and the talent to be putting pucks in the net with regularity on the man advantage. At times they look good, move the puck around and get chances. But the goals haven’t come yet. They need to start capitlizing on those chances and building momentum. Special teams can win you games.

North Stars Lineup:

Tremblay
Rewerts

Statchuk – Vermeulen
Fransoo – Erickson
Sych

Fountain – Keller – Heinrich
Saharchuk – Delainey – O’Sullivan
Smith – McMillen – Havens
Nachtegaele – Kanter – Townsend
Yew

Scratches: Robin Yew, Weston, Bond, Leonenko

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