SJHL Game #10 – La Ronge Ice Wolves at Battlefords North Stars

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 5-2-2-0

NorSask North Stars Hockey Broadcast Info:

  • 1050 CJNB in the Battlefords
  • 102.3 CJNS in Meadow Lake
  • Listen Live:
  • Ultra Print Pregame Show – 7:15
  • Puck drop – 7:30

Last game recap: – The North Stars beat Flin Flon 4-3 in overtime on Saturday. For more check out the post game report here:


  • Home at last: The Stars have played just twice on home ice so far this year. They have lost both and both were against the Kindersley Klippers. The Stars now have three home games this week as they play Nipawin and Estevan later this week. Tonight is the beginning of an important week for the team as they get a chance to make some progress at home against non-divisional opponents.
  • Locals: The Ice Wolves have 3 players who hail from the Edam area as well as a couple more who played midget AAA for the Battlefords Stars. Kent Walchuk, Colby Daniels, Zach Nedelec and the Blaquiere brothers are all very familiar with this area and playing at the Civic Center. Meadow Lake’s Austin Rediron is now with the Ice Wolves as well. I am sure there will be lots of friends and family in attendance tonight.
  • Balanced Scoring: The North Stars line of Delainey, Saharchuk and O’Sullivan has been scoring a large proportion of the Stars goals so far this season. We expect this team to have more balanced scoring as the season goes along. Getting Jake McMillen back in the lineup has helped that balance. Matt Havens will break out one of these days. Nick Fountain got his second of the year up in Flin Flon. Ryne Keller will start popping in a few. Adam Smith is back and will chip in. The list of guys who can score for this team is pretty deep.
  • Firsts: One of these two teams will grab a first tonight. The Stars are looking for their first home win as they play at the Civic Center for the third time. The Ice Wolves are looking for their first road win after 2 losses away from the Mel to start the season. The Stars are 5-1-1 on the road this season. They’ve had to go to OT and/or a shootout to get a few of those wins. But that puts their good start to the season in perspective. Other teams off to good starts on the road? The Nationally ranked Melfort Mustangs and Notre Dame Hounds as well as Kindersley.
  • Food Drive: Farm Credit Canada will be at the game as part of the FCC Drive Away Hunger campaign. They will be collecting food and cash donations for the Battleford and District Food and Resource Center. It is also an Innovation Credit Union 2 for 1 Tuesday.
  • Goals Against: The North Stars have allowed 26 goals so far this season in 9 games. That’s a number they will be itching to bring down. Almost 3 goals per game allowed is not where they want to be at this point. But since opening weekend they’ve allowed 17 goals in 7 games which is a little under 2.5 goals per game against. That’s more like where they want to be in that regard.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) The Penalty Kill 2) Jake McMillen 1) Matt Saharchuk
  • Last game’s Sanberg Collision Collision of the Game: Brenden Heinrich
  • CJHL Top 20: The North Stars are no longer on the list having gone 1-1-1 last week. Flin Flon is also now off the list. Notre Dame and Melfort are the two SJHL teams to crack the top 20.
  • SJHL Power Rankings: The Stars came in at #6 with Matt Saharchuk on the who is hot list.
  • PIMs: The Ice Wolves have 222 penalty minutes this season. That is the most in the SJHL so far. There weren’t a lot of penalties called when these teams met a couple weeks ago in La Ronge. So a lot of those PIMs have been racked up in other games.

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Work  – The Ice Wolves work very hard. I was impressed with their effort a couple weeks ago when we were up at the Mel. The effort level was there consistently throughout the game. It’s something the Stars didn’t always match but when they did they controlled the play. If the Stars can outwork the Ice Wolves on home ice they should win the game.

2) PK – The Ice Wolves have scored 7 of their 18 goals this season on the power play. That’s almost half of the Ice Wolves goals. And this is a team that struggles to score with just a little over 2 goals per game so far. That makes the Stars improving PK important. They have been getting better and better and the performance in Flin Flon, despite a third period power play goal in that game for the Bombers, was encouraging.

3) Road at home – The Stars have had one bad game at home and one really good game that they should have won but ran into a hot goalie. So they can build on that most recent performance at the Civic Center. They can also bring a better sense of their identity to tonight’s game. They have played enough on the road now to have a good sense for what they do well and what they have to do to win. That information should be invaluable.

North Stars Lineup:


Fransoo – Keller
Statchuk – Weston
Robin Yew – Vermeulen

Saharchuk – Delainey – O’Sullivan
Havens – McMillen – Heinrich
Regan Yew – Kanter – Smith
Fountain – Bond – Townsend

Scratches: Sych, Erickson, Nachtegaele, Leonenko

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