By Craig Stein
The Battlefords North Stars made sure their 2016-2017 single season winning streak mark wouldn’t be broken, as they put an end to Nipawin’s string of 13 consecutive wins, doubling up the Hawks 4-2 on Saturday night.
The win leaves the North Stars (42-8-1-0) on a five game winning streak, and closing in on wrapping up the #1 seed, still with 7 games left to go.
Kendall Fransoo had a pair of first period goals to put the Stars up early. Daven Smith and Tanner Thompson both answered for the Hawks, but Reed Delainey (1g-1a) and Coby Downs but the Stars ahead to stay. Joel Gryzbowski made 28/30 saves.
The Hawks (33-13-2-1) are now four points back of Flin Flon for first in the Sherwood with two games in hand.
The Melfort Mustangs snapped an eight game losing streak with a 6-2 win in Kindersley. That puts the Mustangs (20-25-2-4) now 10 points up on Melville for the last playoff spot, and a point back of the Klippers for 9th.
Miles Warkentine led the charge with two goals and an assist while Reed Gunville (1g-1a), Dakota Boutin, Matthew Hermary and Carson Albrecht rounded out the scoring. Evan Plotnik got the win with 18 saves on 20 shots.
Cole Plotnikoff (1g-1a) and Cody Hodgson replied for the Klippers (23-26-1-0). Kindersley remains in 9th, one point back of Notre Dame.
The Weyburn Red Wings kept hold of the 6th overall position with a 4-3 overtime win in Estevan.
Connor Burk’s second goal of the season was the OT winner, keeping the Red Wings one point up on Yorkton for the final top six spot. Carson Rose, Cole Woodliffe and Jacob Wozney all added a goal and an assist for the Wings (23-23-1-4), and Carter Phair made 35/38 saves.
Hayden Guilderson, Matt McNeil and Kaelan Holt scored for the Bruins, who could have wrapped up the Viterra Division pennant with a win. They’ve still got a league-high 10 games remaining to hit that feat.
Two goals 11 seconds apart late in the third period put the Yorkton Terriers ahead, and on their way to a 3-2 win over the Melville Millionaires, sweeping their weekend home and home, and keeping them within a point of a top six spot.
Matthew Perkins opened the scoring just 26 seconds into the game, and the Terriers (23-25-4-0) were held off the board until Shane Sherban tied the game at 12:44, and 11 seconds later Regan Seiferling scored the winner. Dexter Robinson assisted on all three goals and Nathan Hargrave made 20/22 saves.
The Millionaires (17-29-2-0) dropped their 8th straight game, and sit 10 points out of a playoff spot with 10 games left. Defensemen Logan Karakochuk and Clayton Eisler did the scoring for Melville while Colby Entz made 27/30 saves.
The Flin Flon Bombers went to La Ronge and finished off a weekend sweep of the Ice Wolves with a narrow 4-3 decision, giving them a little more breathing room over Nipawin after the Hawks saw their 13 game winning streak end Saturday.
The Bombers (34-12-2-3) now hold a four point lead while Nipawin has a pair of games in hand, and the two teams meet three more times still, the first being Tuesday in Flin Flon.
Gunnar Neilsen got the start for the Bombers, making 35/38 saves. Mason Etter, Kristian St. Onge, Connor Beebe and Rylee Zimmer did the scoring.
Curtis Peck (1g-1a), Austin Shumanski and Kent Hanson scored for La Ronge (6-39-1-4).