SJHL Game #30 – Kindersley Klippers at Battlefords North Stars

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 15-9-5-0

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 lost 3-2 in Yorkton. The Stars opened the scoring in the first period when Matt Saharchuk scored his second in as many games. A Michael Statchuk dump in was recovered by Ryne Keller who was ableto find Saharchuk and it was 1-0 North Stars. At that time I thought the Stars were playing well and Spencer Tremblay looked really solid in net. He ended up making 11 first period saves but was beaten once. With 44 seconds left in the period Carson Cayer tied it up.

I thought the Stars dominated the second period and the shots show that to be the case. 18-4 Stars. They got a power play goal from Nick Fountain and could have had more. They looked dangerous all period and Fountain himself couldhave scored a couple more late in the period and again on the power play. But it wasn’t to be and the game was tied heading to the third as the Terriers scored a goal despite not having much of the play. Daylan Gatzke got the second goal and the game was tied heading to the third.

The Terriers scored a goal on what looked to be a lucky bounce with the puck just trickling across the line and that ended up being the game winner as the Stars couldn’t find another goal in the third to tie the game. That despite getting the net empty for the extra attacker and drawing a late power play to make it 6-on-4. In the end the Stars were the better team for parts of the game but couldn’t convert on their chances often enough to grab the win.

Sometimes before you can snap out of a rough patch you have to have a few good games before you find a way back into the win column. Hopefully that game against Yorkton was the start of the turn around for the Stars.

Storylines:

  • Rivalry Cup:.So far in the head to head games the Klippers have picked up 8 points. The North Stars have 6. So the Klippers can clinch the cup with a victory tonight. It would be the second straight year they’ve won the cup which is every year that it has been in existence. The North Stars did end up winning the division last year though. Ideally this season they will win both. To do that they really need a win tonight.
  • Kramer Division: The Kramer Division standings now look a lot different than they did before the Stars 4 game losing streak. The North Stars are now 13 points behind the Klippers but they have played 3 fewer games. If the Stars are to have a chance to catch the Klippers in the standings a win tonight would be huge. That would give the Stars a chance to be within 5 points if they won their games in hand and that would be well within striking distance heading into the new year and the final stretch drive of the season.
  • Team West WJAC: The team was announced this morning. North Stars forward Reed Delainey did not make the cut. That’s really too bad as it would have made that event a lot more fun to follow and I likely would have made a roadtrip down to watch a game. If there is a silver lining it is that the North Stars will have Delainey in their lineup during the tournament and he will continue to be scouted and recruited by Division 1 schools. Three SJHLers made the team including Klippers goalie Evan Weninger and forward Cody Young. Nipawin defenseman Connor Hobbs also made the cut.
  • Assistant Coach: The North Stars are still seeking a new assistant coach after the departure of Taurean White. There is more info up now on the North Stars website http://www.northstars.ca about the position. So far Martin Smith and Travis Harrington have filled in behind the bench for the Stars who haven’t won since White’s departure. Coincidence? Most likely. The Stars will look to bounce back after a couple of weeks of turmoil with a win this evening.
  • Playoff Matchup: It’s obviously way too early to start thinking about a potential playoff matchup at this stage. But it’s also kind of fun. If the playoffs started today the Stars would be playing a Survivor Series with La Ronge. The winner of that series would then move on to face Melfort. Talk about a tough way to start a playoff run. But looking at the standings you have to wonder if there will be any easy playoff series in the SJHL this season. Probably not.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) Michael Statchuk 2) Nick Fountain 1) Dallas Rossiter
  • Last game’s Sanberg Collision Collision of the Game: Logan Nachtegaele
  • Head to Head:
    Kindersley 4 @ Battlefords 3 (Oct 30 2014)
    Battlefords 4 @ Kindersley 3 (Oct 21 2014)
    Kindersley 3 @ Battlefords 2 (OT) (Oct 7 2014)
    Battlefords 2 @ Kindersley 1 (SO) (Sep 27 2014)
    Battlefords 3 @ Kindersley 4 (OT) (Sep 20 2014)
    Kindersley 5 @ Battlefords 2 (Sep 19 2014)
  • Out of Town Scoreboard: La Ronge at Notre Dame, Weyburn at Estevan

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Continue – The Stars were good against the Terriers for large chunks of that game. They need to continue to build off of that performance. Take what they did well and continue to do those things while eliminating one or two little mistakes that were made.

2) Scoring Areas – Getting to the net is going to be a key for the Stars. Whether that be getting bodies to the net, getting pucks to the net or getting shots through the Stars will have to find ways to get into those areas because the Klippers have the goaltending to stop you if the shots are all from the perimeter and there isn’t someone in front banging away at rebounds.

3) Structure – The Stars always want to have a structured approach but against the Klippers they have to be careful as Kindersley loves to transition quickly and capitalize on the counter attack. If the Stars get out of position, even on the fore-check, the Klippers will turn the puck the other way in lightning quick time.

North Stars Lineup:

Tremblay
Rewerts

Erickson – Sych
Statchuk – Vermeulen
Fransoo – Calverley

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

Scratches: Delainey, Leonenko, Weston

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