Stars lose to La Ronge

The North Stars came out of the gates strong early in the first period and took a lead on a goal by Jake McMillen. It was Brenden Heinrich that made the goal possible though. He was all alone in the slot with the puck on his stick and easily could have taken a shot. He may well have scored as he had all kinds of time. But instead he spotted McMillen all alone at the side of the net and the pass was perfect for McMillen to tap home his second in as many games.

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The Stars had other chances in the period including a break away for Matt Havens that he couldn’t convert as he went to the backhand. Havens stuck with it though to get the puck out front to Heinrich. His shot looked destined for the roof of the net but Luke Grassl went to the double pad stack to make the desperation save. It was maybe the save of the game although in the second period Tremblay made a stick save in desperation that rivalled Grassl’s best.

The Ice Wolves tied the game later in the period with a power play one timer from Connor Kortko. La Ronge then came out and took over in the second period as the North Stars really seemed to struggle. They were fighting the puck and La Ronge made them pay. Jared Blaquiere’s rink wide saucer pass landed perfectly for Dave Randall to one time past Tremblay. Two power play goals in the game and La Ronge had the lead.

Despite not playing well in that middle frame though the Stars tied the game. Nick Fountain set up in front by Jordan Townsend late in the period and Fountain beat Grassl over the glove to make it 2-2. That was the Stars first power play goal of the game.

In the third the Stars lost a puck at the blue line and it ended up as a break away for Jared Iron. He was slashed by Michael Statchuk and a penalty shot was given. Iron converted, snapping a shot on the blocker side and beating Tremblay. The Stars responded late in the third on another power play. Regan Yew powered to the net and the next thing you knew there was a loose puck in the slot area and a race was on. Baxter Kanter used his great speed to win that race and poke at the puck. It went right to Adam Smith who fired home from the side of the goal to tie the game. Smith’s first as a North Star was a huge goal.

The Stars had other chances on the power play late in the third and again in OT but they couldn’t make the Ice Wolves pay for their lack of discipline. In the end a broken play in the Stars zone left a loose puck in the crease with Tremblay looking over the wrong shoulder. He was expecting the puck to squirt out front the way it did and Cole Porter was able to poke home the winner.

The Stars are now winless in 3 games at home so far but have picked up 2 points. They have played past regulation in 7 of their 10 games this season.

The Stars host Nipawin on Friday as they look to get back in the win column and maybe avoid overtime as well.

———

Before the game the Stars honoured Cheri Lynch for her work with the team over the years.

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(I never get a good angle for these pics from up in the pressbox)

Cheri is leaving for the winter and after years of being on the Stars board, being the treasurer, being the scorekeeper and at one point a billet as well she has earned the respect and admiration of Stars and SJHL fans alike. She will be missed but will hopefully be back in time to watch the Stars go on a long playoff run.

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  1. SJHL Game #11 – Nipawin Hawks at Battlefords North Stars | North Stars Beacon

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