SJHL Game #45 – Melville Millionaires at Battlefords North Stars

North Stars 2014-15 Record: 22-15-6-1

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 in Humboldt 5-0 on Wednesday. The Stars actually came out pretty well in the game and the very first shot from Jordan Townsend almost got by Romanuik who had to look behind him to see if he had made the save. The shots were 6-0 North Stars when the Broncos scored one that got through the arm and the body on Spencer Tremblay. That’s one I am sure the Stars goalie would say he should have stopped.

It was a blow to the Stars momentum but they kept coming and were heavily outshooting the Broncos. But then a turnover in the Stars zone led to Matt Kenney making it 2-0 as he picked the top corner. It was 2-0. The Stars never seemed to recover. A Broncos power play marker made it 3 before a goal with 24.6 seconds left in the opening period ended the Stars hopes. 4-0 after the first. Ryan Rewerts took over starting in the second period and the Stars changed up their D pairs as well. They weren’t able to spark a comeback.

Humboldt got a rolling puck past Rewerts to make it 5-0 and from there it was mostly about whether or not the Stars could break the shutout bid of Romanuik. They weren’t able to do that as the Broncos goalie made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season.

Storylines:

  • Stretch Drive: After the two games at home this weekend the Stars will move into February with just 10 games left on the regular season schedule. They have 12 games left to try and close the gap on teams above them and avoid a Survivor Series playoff versus one of a handful of teams that looks like it will be one of La Ronge, Humboldt, or Yorkton. If the Stars won that series they would be seeded 7th and take on the #2 seed which will likely be Kindersley. That would be fun but I am sure the Stars still have their sights set on moving up and getting in that top 6.
  • Playoff Rematch: The North Stars incredible run to the division title last season meant they went into the playoffs on a lengthy unbeaten streak. They had 1 regulation loss in their final 21 games. A 6 game winning streak going into the post season and then after dropping the first game versus Estevan they won the next 4 straight. And then all of a sudden they were down 3-0 versus Melville in a surprise that I didn’t see coming. It brings back bad memories thinking about it. But that’s what this meeting means this season. You get those memories of that playoff series flooding back.

Other Notes:

  • Last game’s Canadian Tire 3 Stars: 3) Gray Marr 2) Matt Kenney 1) Jack Romanuik
  • Last game’s San-Berg Collision Collision of the Game: Nick Fountain
  • Head to Head:
    Battlefords 2 @ Melville 6 (Dec 5 2014)
    Melville 4 @ Battlefords 1 (Dec 2 2014)
    Battlefords 5 @ Melville 2 (Sep 24 2014)
    Out of Town Scoreboard:
    Yorkton at Notre Dame, La Ronge at Kindersley, Melfort at Nipawin, Flin Flon at Weyburn

Some Keys for the Stars:

1) Be Ready – The Stars have fallen behind by 3 and 4 goals in each of the last two first periods. They need to show up in the first period tonight and be ready to go. Melville is a new look team since the deadline and are better than their record indicates. They will be a tough opponent and if the Stars are slow out of the gates the Mills will take advantage.

2) PK – The Stars have given up 4 power play goals against in the last 2 games. That’s after a streak of 24 straight kills over the span of 4 or 5 games. They were up into first in the league on the PK before the blip over the last couple games. The Mills power play is worst in the league so tonight is a chance for the Stars to get back on track.

3) Finish – After the Stars offense seemed to come alive last week they have struggled again the last two games. Looking over my notes from the game in Humboldt though the Stars certainly had chances. They just need to get back that confidence that they can finish their chances.

North Stars Lineup:

Tremblay
Rewerts

Erickson – Statchuk
Fransoo – Sych
Vermeulen – Weston

Fountain – McMillen – Heinrich
Hall – Delainey – Townsend
Calverley – Havens – Leonenko
Nachtegaele – Kanter – Mitchell

Scratches: Saharchuk, O’Sullivan, Bond

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