SJHL Game #32 – Battlefords North Stars at Humboldt Broncos

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 16-9-6-0

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 – 6:00
  • Puck drop – 5:45
  • Twitter.com/NorthStarsVoice

Last game recap: – The North Stars lost to Yorkton on Friday night at the Civic Center 3-2 in overtime. The Stars got into all kinds of penalty trouble early as they played almost all of the first 8 minutes of the game short handed. The penalty kill was good except for the Stars gave up a goal on 5-on-3. It was a sharp angle one-timer from Kailum Gervais that was set up from Riley Hunt.

The Stars got the Teddy Bears on the ice and tied the game later in the period. After missing a couple of chances on the power play it was Nick Fountain who scored a 5-on-5 goal. He was filling it on the point and the puck came to him so he blasted a shot that hit something and beat Matt Kustra.

The Stars ended up the game 0-9 on the power play but they had so many chances. Michael Statchuk hit the inside of the post in the first period. The Terriers also hit iron the hit a cross-bar on a shot by Gervais.

In the second the Stars had some glorious chances like when Jordan Townsend got in alone and made a nice little drag move before flipping the puck too high and over the net. Kustra made 15 saves in the period including a toe save to deny the Stars a power play goal. The Terriers scored short handed to take a 2-1 lead and it was Riley Hunt who scored on a break away.

It was a disapointing goal in part because the Terriers forward Hunt should have been in the penalty box. WIth the Stars on a power play Hunt shot a discarded stick at Ryne Keller and knocked the puck off his stick. That’s a penalty in any league, any time of game, anywhere in the world. Except the Civic Center last night. The teams combined for 15 power plays but that one wasn’t called?

The Stars came out and absolutely crushed the Terriers in the third. Brenden Heinrich was outstanding in the period pressuring the puck and forcing the Terriers back into their own zone time and time again. It wasn’t just Heinrich though it was all 4 Stars lines. Shift after shift they were on top of Yorkton and winning battles, getting chances and not scoring.

Eary in the final frame there was a fight. Maybe that sparked the Stars? Logan Nachtegaele through a good hard check on Dylan Baer and then was boarded in retaliation by Daylan Gatzke. Baxter Kanter didn’t like that and he and Gatzke dropped the gloves. Gatzke maybe edged the fight as Kanter got a little off balance and could never quite regain his balance.

The Stars killed a late Matt Saharchuk penalty and then got their net empty for an extra attacker. Brenden Heinrich was able to streak up the wing and suddenly Matt Havens was all alone in front. How does that happen in the final seconds? I don’t know. Havens went to the backhand short side and fired up into the roof of the net.

The Stars seemed to have a let down in the overtime though and Dallas Rossiter was found all alone in the mid-slot. Rossiter blasted past Spencer Tremblay to grab the win for the Terriers. In the end the Stars gave up a shorthanded goal, power play goal and went 0-9 on the man advantage themselves. That was the difference in the game.

Storylines:

  • Last Road Trip: This the last road game of 2014 for the Battlefords North Stars. They are 9-4-2 on the road so far this season heading into tonight’s contest. They were dominant on the road last season as well so their overall road record in the calendar year of 2014 was outstanding. The Stars were 10-0 last season after the turn of the year. So 19-4-2 in the regular season on the road which is flat out amazing.
  • First Visit: This is the first time the Stars will be in Humboldt in the regular season. They were there in pre-season but now they will have visited every rink in the league just in time for the end of the year. The Broncos are 6-6-2 on home ice so far this season. They work really hard but at times have struggled to score. The Stars always seem to do well in Humboldt at the EPA.
  • Struggles: Both teams come into tonight’s game going through some struggles. The Stars have just 3 wins in their last 10 games. The Broncos have just 2 in their last 10. The Stars are playing a little better of late and from what I have read it sounds like the Broncos haven’t been as bad as the record makes it seem. So it should be a great game between two teams looking to get things going in the right direction.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) Dallas Rossiter 2) Matt Havens 1) Matt Kustra
  • Last game’s San-Berg Collision Collision of the Game: Brenden Heinrich
  • Head to Head:
  • Out of Town Scoreboard: Melfort at Nipawin

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Finish – The Stars were 0-9 on the power play last game. But they moved the puck well and created chances. They just didn’t finish. That’s the next step for the Stars to getting going. They have 69 goals this season at even strength, although they do have a few with the net empty. That’s more than 2 goals per game. If they had even a middle of the pack power play they would have about 10-12 more goals this season. How many points would that have been? Probably a couple more wins for sure.

2) Alert – The Broncos have pulled off a few set plays against the Stars so far this season. Off of faceoffs they run several different plays. They also do strange things in the neutral zone sometimes. In the end the Stars will have to be lively and aware that the Broncos will be looking for those plays and they will have to be ready to neutralize them.

3) Urgency – When the Stars play with urgency, like the third period last game versus Yorkton, they are darn near unstoppable. They need to find a way to play like that a lot more often. As in from the opening face-off until the final buzzer. If they do they won’t lose many games the rest of the season.

North Stars Lineup:

Rewerts
Tremblay

Fransoo – Calverley
Sych – Erickson
Statchuk – Vermeulen

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

Scratches: McMillen, Leonenko, Weston

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