SJHL Game #23 – Battlefords North Stars at Weyburn Red Wings

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 13-4-5-0

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 – 7:15
  • Puck drop – 7:30
  • Twitter.com/NorthStarsVoice

Last game recap: – The North Stars actually played a pretty good first period last night despite finding themselves down 2-0 after the opening period. David Robertson opened the scoring and then a loose puck came to Josh Rieger in the slot area and he blasted a shot past Termblay. So that made it 2-0 after the first.

The Stars came out firing in the second period and tied the game. Jake McMillen was the screen in front and a Connor Sych point shot went through the screen and past Tyler Gutenberg. That was the first ever Junior A goal for Sych. The Stars tied the game later in the period during a period of 4-on-4 play. Brady O’Sullivan and Jake McMillen went straight forward off the face-off and got a shot on net. O’Sullivan found the rebound and after kicking the puck free was able to poke a back hand shot past Gutenberg. The Stars were out shooting the Bruins 23-15 after two periods and deservedly tied in the game.

They fell behind early in the third on a Wyatt Garagan goal. A fluttering puck bounced right in front of Spencer Tremblay, he made the save but before he could cover the rebound Garagan got a stick on it to force the Bruins back into a lead. It lasted less than 30 seconds. Matt Havens made a nifty little pass through his legs and from below the goal line was able to get a pass out to O’Sullivan who buried his second of the game. Two goals in less than a minute as the third period started with some fire works.

The Bruins were back in front later in the period when Lynden Pastachak scored short-handed. And that’s the way it stayed for about 8 minutes as the Stars swarmed but couldn’t tie the game. They had a number of good shifts after the goal to try and get back into a tie. The power play looked sharp as well. They were moving the puck well and creating chances, getting shots and forcing the Bruins to play at the speed and tempo that the North Stars wanted. But no goals.

That was until the last minute of play with Spencer Tremblay on the bench for the extra attacker. A Michael Statchuk point shot was deflected home by Jake McMillen to tie the game. For McMillen that was his third point of the game. He was on the ice for all 4 goals that the North Stars scored. It seems that he is starting to really click with Brady O’Sullivan and Matt Havens and that’s now a very dangerous looking line.

In overtime the North Stars were called for a tripping penalty. It was the first time they had taken a penalty in the entire game. And after 4 Stars power plays the Bruins got their first. They capitalized. After a poor line change by the Stars the Bruins had a couple chances before a loose puck came to Charles Manley and he was able to hit the open net with a pile up in front. So after coming back three times in the game the Stars couldn’t get the win but did pick up a point.

Storylines:

  • Overtime: The trend continues for the North Stars. Now 13 overtime games out of 23. I’ve never seen anything similar in my time following hockey teams and broadcasting games. It’s been fun. The intensity of close games and overtimes plus the excitement of shootouts is always fun. And if the Stars are learning from these experiences they may well be better for it down the line.
  • Wings: This is the third meeting between these two teams in a little over a week. The Stars will have played 3 of 4 against Weyburn by the end of the night. The Stars won both games last week but one was in a shootout and in the other they have to come from behind in the third period. So they were close difficult games.
  • Standings: The North Stars are a point ahead of Notre Dame for second in the Kramer Division. All these games are huge because this league is so tight this season. The Stars are battling with a couple teams near the top of the standings. The Wings are battling near the bottom. So these games are just as big for them. They looked solid at the Civic Center last weekend so it’s a bit surprising to see where they are in the standings. But they did get off to a terrible start and have been better since. They’ll make a strong push for a playoff spot.
  • Aldergrove: The Wings recently added two players to their roster. Jeremy Lagler and Stephen Ryan who are both from Langley, BC and both played for the Junior B team in my hometown of Aldergrove. It’s exciting for me to see a couple kids from my area of the world playing in the league.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) Connor Sych 2) Jake McMillen 1) Brady O’Sullivan
  • Last game’s Sanberg Collision Collision of the Game: Nick Saharchuk
  • Head to Head:
    North Stars 1 – Red Wings 0 Nov 14th 2014
    North Stars 3 – Red Wings 2 Nov 16th 2014
  • Out of Town Scoreboard: Estevan at Notre Dame, Kindersley at Melfort, Flin Flon at Melville, Yorkton at La Ronge

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Transition  – The North Stars did a lot of things well last night especially with the puck. But the Stars did struggle at times with the quick transition of the Bruins. That’s one area they will look to improve.

2) Line Changes: Another area the Stars struggled was in line changes. Coach Hasselberg mentioned it in the postgame show. They need to be more sharp with their changes. And keep the shifts short. They have three games this weekend so keeping fresh legs on the ice is important.

3) Forecheck  – The North Stars need to maintain an aggressive forecheck tonight. There were plenty of chances to create turnovers last night when the Stars used their speed to pressure the Bruins D. That same principle applies in every game. If they fly to the puck and get physical they can create a lot of turnovers and create a lot of offensive scoring chances.

North Stars Lineup:

Rewerts
Tremblay

Erikson – Sych
Statchuk – Vermeulen
Fransoo – Calverley

Saharchuk – Delainey – Townsend
Havens – McMillen – O’Sullivan
Fountain – Keller – Heinrich
Kanter – Bond – Mitchell

Scratches: Weston, Smith, Leonenko, Nactegaele

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