By Craig Stein
KOTCHOREK EARNS FIRST POST SEASON SHUTOUT
Despite another 10 day break between series’, the Battlefords North Stars kept their playoff unbeaten streak going in Game 1 of the SJHL Canalta Cup Final Friday, shutting out the visiting Flin Flon Bombers 3-0 at the Civic Centre.
The Stars owned the shot clock by a 40-19 advantage, with Taryn Kotchorek stopping all 19 for his first career SJHL playoff shutout, to go along with his nine career clean sheets in the regular season (including five this year).
Two of the three Stars’ goals came from defensemen, as captain Kendall Fransoo, in his first game in these playoffs, opened the scoring late in the first period, and fellow blue line pillar Connor Sych put the game to bed with a third period powerplay goal. Keaton Holinaty added some insurance in the second period with his 8th goal of the playoffs in just nine games. Coby Downs added one assist for his league-leading 19th helper and 21st post-season point.
Brenden Newton had his three game winning streak snapped in goal for the Bombers, but was still sharp making 37/40 saves in his first loss in these playoffs. He still maintains a 1.49 goals against average and a .957 save percentage.
The two teams go right back at it Saturday at 7:30 for Game 2, before the scene shifts to the Whitney Forum in Flin Flon for Games 3 & 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.