SJHL Game #39 – Battlefords North Stars at Notre Dame Hounds – Carnduff

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 19-13-6-0

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

Last game recap: – The North Stars beat Weyburn last night thanks in part to three of the nicest goals they’ve scored all year. The first period was probably slightly in favour of the Wings but Ryan Rewerts was excellent making 10 saves. Twice he was able to make back to back pad saves stopping the first shot and the rebound. Those two double saves really stood out in that opening frame.

In the second the Stars got on the board. On the power play. Which earlier in the season would have seemed amazing. Now? It seems normal for this good and getting better Stars power play. Matt Havens off the bench took a feed from Connor Sych and then relayed the puck rink wide to Jake Erickson who was sneaking in off the point. Jake reached to settle the puck and then went back door to Jake McMillen for a tap in.

The Stars then found themselves behind. The Wings score a little over a minute later to tie the game on a jam play at the side of the net. Midway through the second period Matt Eng was in the slot all alone and a bouncing puck ricocheted right to him. He spun and fired a rolling puck over the shoulder of Rewerts to make it 201. The Stars responded almost right away. Jordan Townsend fired a great pass to spring Igor Leonenko and he was away. Igor went with a Datsyukian style goal. cutting across the goalie and then sliding the puck home with his stick trailing behind him. One handed, back hand and as slick as it gets. That made it 2-2 heading to the third.

The previous two games between the Stars and Wings finished 3-2 and I did wonder if this game would end that way as well. Jackson Bond was into it with Jeremy Lagler at the end of the second period and it looked like Lagler wanted to go as they came out of the penalty boxes early in the third. Bond chose to play hockey instead and set up the game winner. He and Havens did a bit of a criss-cross as they entered Weyburn ice. Bond fired to Leonenko on the right wing allowing Igor to power around the D, cut right out front and with hardly a flick of the wrist the puck was roofed over the glove of Jack Burgart. Rewerts stood tall all night and ended up making 29 saves to make those 3 goals standup for the win.

Bond had a late chance to set up Matt Saharchuk for an empty netter but didn’t see his teammate and went for goal himself. He hit the post. The Stars then iced the puck and the Wings, with their net empty, had a late faceoff in Stars ice. But the Stars scrambled the puck away to win.

Brenden Heinrich celebrated from the stands as he was ejected for fighting along with Lagler. Heinrich was able to win the fight and maybe spark his team to victory. Igor’s game winner came less than 2 minutes after the fight.

A late high sticking call went against Brock Weston. The Wings have the SJHL’s top power play. But the Stars PK was in charge all night and that late Wings PP effort was repelled thanks in part to a couple of key saves from Rewerts.

The North Stars PK won their battle, the PP won theirs and the Stars won the hockey game.

Storylines:

  • Hockey Day: This is Hockey Day in Saskatchewan and tonight’s game between the Stars caps off an exciting day of action at the Carnduff arena. There will be/has been a Midget AAA Female and a Midget AAA Male game prior to the Stars taking on the Hounds. Plus some Peewee and Atom action as well. This community is really embracing this day and these teams. And Jake McMillen. He’s a local. Raised in Carrievale which is 12 KMs down highway 18 Jake went to school and played hockey here. His jersey was auctioned off yesterday and went for 7,000 dollars. Just slightly less than the money spent on a Dave ‘Tiger’ Williams jersey. The players have to focus on trying to win the hockey game and get the two points which are important in the standings. As a broadcaster I get to take in a little more of the overall experience and let me tell you it has been an excellent experience already. There will be a dinner for the players after the game tonight and I might slip down to the Cabaret later on to take in the whole day. As part of the day a few of the North Stars and coaches Hasselberg and Johnson were on the ice today with local Carnduff minor hockey players putting on a clinic. The smiles on those kids faces. Priceless.

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  • Divisional Game: The North Stars aren’t going to catch Kindersley for first in the Kramer. And catching Notre Dame for second will be tough. They are 7 points back with the same number of games played. But they face Notre Dame 4 more times head to head. And the Hounds have 6 games left against top teams (Kindersley, Melfort, Nipawin and Flin Flon). So they’ve got a tough schedule. It’s an uphill climb but if the Stars win tonight? 5 points back with 17 games left? It’s a big game in the standings. There’s also Flin Flon and Nipawin to worry about as the Stars try to avoid a Survivor Series.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) Matt Havens 2) Ryan Rewerts 1) Igor Leonenko
  • Last game’s San-Berg Collision Collision of the Game: Brenden Heinrich
  • Head to Head: Battlefords 1 @ Notre Dame 0 (Nov 23 2014) Notre Dame 3 @ Battlefords 1 (Nov 1 2014)
  • Out of Town Scoreboard: La Ronge at Nipawin, Humboldt at Melfort, Flin Flon at Kindersley

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Settle – Tonight’s game is being played in a rink that neither team will be familiar with and in these neutral sight games the team that settles in quickest can have an advantage. The glass is low. The roof is low. The ice surface may be a little smaller. It’s a little like La Ronge here in Carnduff, although I would argue a much nicer rink here, and the style of game will reflect a La Ronge type game. The ice is reportedly hard and quick but there will also likely be a lot of whistles. Lots to get used to and whichever team adjusts first should get off to a great start.

2) Close – The North Stars are 15-4-6 in games decided by a single goal. So keep it close and the Stars have a great chance to win. The Hounds play a style that would be on the defensive side of the spectrum and tonight’s game in Carnduff may have a bit slower pace due to whistles. The Stars can’t afford to get frustrated and they need to know that if the game is close they are a team with the experience in those games that should allow them to pull out the win.

3) Embrace the day – It has already been an incredible day for the Stars and seeing them out on the ice with the young local Carnduff minor hockey players this morning was special. Those young players had massive smiles on their faces as they got to skate with the North Stars and learn from them. For me, that has already made this day worthwhile. Embrace the specialness of the day, the excitement of the crowd and have a good time.

North Stars Lineup:

Rewerts
Kotchorek

Statchuk – Erickson
Fransoo – Sych
Weston – Vermeulen

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

Scratches: Tremblay, Calverley, Nachtegaele, Hall

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