Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

North Stars’ Girod commits to College of St. Scholastica

(Photo credit to Marty Martinson/BattlefordsNow)

(Article courtesy Martin Martinson/BattlefordsNow)

Battlefords North Stars forward, Riley Girod has announced his commitment to The College of St. Scholastica (NCAA III) in Duluth, Minnesota for the next chapter in his hockey career.

Coming off a 20-year-old season for the books, that saw the rugged winger post new career highs across the board in goals (11), assists (20) and points (31) in 54 games, Girod said he’s looking forward to the opportunity ahead at the post-secondary level, joining some familiar faces already suiting up with the school’s hockey team, the Saints.

Among them, is his older brother Brodie Girod – who is currently in his third year as an assistant captain with the Saints – and former North Stars’ teammate Emmett Wurst, with whom he won an SJHL championship last spring.

“I get to reunite with Wursty and play hockey with my brother too, so it’s going to be quite fun down there,” Girod said. “I’ve been watching [Brodie’s] games online and my parents have been showing me photos, and it’s quite a nice campus. They have some good facilities and it’s a great hockey town and they’re a really good team as well, they finished first this year and won it all last year so it’s a great program to be a part of.”

Riley Girod served as an assistant captain with the North Stars this season, setting the tone through his aggressive but dependable playstyle. (Martin Martinson/battlefordsNOW Staff)

From his first season with the North Stars last year, Girod was quick to establish himself in the SJHL ranks as a player just as capable of blocking a shot or laying a crushing hit as finishing a scoring chance at the side of the net. It’s a similar mix of grit and intangibles that made his brother a standout over his three seasons with the Nipawin Hawks from 2018-21.

Girod said he’s looking forward to joining forces with his brother and getting the chance to play together for a change, for really, the first time in their competitive hockey careers due to their three-year age difference.

“We’ve only played one game together, in preseason of U18 AAA, but then we got to play against each other in my first SJHL game too, so it will be nice to be out there playing with him now,” he said.

Head coach of the North Stars, Brayden Klimosko, who this year put Girod on the left-wing side of the team’s go-to matchup line for much of the year alongside centerman Jackson Allan and Rylan Williams, said the Saints are getting a player who contributes in every way possible for the good of the team.

“He’s been a big part of our success the last couple of years, playing a key part on the penalty kill and blocking shots late in games,” Klimosko said. “With the small details of the game, G’s one of the best at it, and I think it’s well-deserved for him to be moving on to the next level to school.”