North Stars top Ice Wolves 4-2

The Battlefords North Stars grabbed a 4-2 come from behind win over La Ronge Saturday night at the Civic Center.

The Stars set a tone early when Brenden Heinrich got a good hard hit in on Bryce Fiske. The Stars sparked out of the gate with good shifts from Jake McMillen’s line and Matt Havens group. Nick Fountain had a great chance but Kris Joyce got a piece of the puck with the end of his glove and tipped the puck up to the netting.

Later in the period Jake Calverley got into it with the Ice Wolves bench verbally after a coming together near the La Ronge bench. And Brock Weston won the San Berg Collision Collision of the Game when he planted Joel Blaquiere on his back side in open ice. At the end of the period the Stars were winning the shot counter 6-3. It was a decent period with pretty good flow but not a lot of chances.

In the second period the Stars gave up a couple chances but Cole Porter and the Joel Blaquiere were stopped as Spencer Tremblay made a couple of good saves. He really bounced back after being pulled in the first period on Friday and Tremblay was outstanding picking up the #3 Star of the game on the Canadian Tire 3 Stars.

The Stars had a great chance on a pwer play in the second when all of a sudden they had a 4-on-1 down low in the Ice Wolves zone but Matt Havens pass across the crease didn’t reach Nick Fountain. The Ice Wolves opened the scoring later in the frame. Again the Stars were playing well and had chances but found themselves behind after a turnover. A similar story to previous games. Dave Randall with a shot that went wide, bounced out towards the front of the goal and was eventually forced home by Porter at the side of the net. Spencer Tremblay couldn’t get a whistle in time despite looking like he had it covered.

Baxter Kanter’s line responded with a strong shift and Logan Nachtegaele fired wide on a decent chance. Toby Shattler took a slashing penalty and the Stars responded. Otto Mitchell did very well to fight off a check and force home a rebound. It was 1-1 after 40.

Joel Blaquiere had gone off for spearing in the second period and Brenden Heinrich was not pleased about it. Neither was Braeden Johnson on the North Stars bench. The Stars and Ice Wolves had a healthy dislike for each other going by this time. Late in the period Jake Calverley tried to angle off Jared Blaquiere with a hard hit but Blaguiere turned his back to Calverley and Jake didn’t pull out of the hit. Blaquiere was cut badly and left the game. Calverley was jumped by Kyler Wilkinson who got an instigator penalty. I didn’t think the hit deserved a major penalty but the Ref saw it differently. Where I had an issue was Calverley getting a fighting major as well. He was jumped and in that situation a double minor for roughing should have been handed out. None the less the Stars will be without Calverley will miss a few games due to suspension.

The Stars also lost Jake McMillen in the second period to an injury. They started the game with just 11 forward so by the 3rd period they had 9 forwards and were forced to role 3 lines.

A Colby Daniels one-timer on the power play tipped hard off Logan Nachtegaele’s stick down into the ice and then bounced up past Spencer Tremblay. A tough break and again the Stars were behind and it felt like a bounce went against them. They responded well again. Otto Mitchell got a good shot away a few shifts later and Nachtegaele tipped the puck again. This time for a goal into the right net and the game was tied.

Right off a face-off later in the frame the Stars were on a power play. Nick Fountain found a loose puck straight from the draw and slid the puck around Joyce. The Stars had their first lead. The Ice Wolves then thought they scored when a Colby Daniels shot appeared to hit the crossbar and stay out. That’s what the Ref saw and to his credit he was in perfect position right on the goal line. The goal judge didn’t put on the light either and there were others in the rink who felt it was crossbar and out. My instinct watching it at full speed was that the puck was in the net. But the ref was in position and you have to trust that he got the call correct.

The Stars had a late penalty kill with Baxter Kanter in the box and then Brenden Heinrich sealed the game with an empty netter. The Stars able to grind out a 4-2 win. They were short players and coming off a few losses in a row. They fell behind by a goal twice in the game despite playing well and lately that’s been a killer for the Stars. Saturday they didn’t fold and that grit was so impressive. They battled out a win in adverse circumstances and will be better off for it as the season progresses.

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  1. SJHL Game #47 – Battlefords North Stars at Nipawin Hawks | North Stars Beacon

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