By Craig Stein
BRUINS STORM BACK LATE TO SNAP STARS’ STREAK
The Battlefords North Stars were about five minutes away from locking up their 14th consecutive win, but over those five minutes, the Estevan Bruins would score four times to charge back and beat the Stars 8-6, snapping that marathon Battelfords’ winning streak at 13.
The Stars’ last loss was October 14th in Weyburn.
The late comeback was started by Jake Fletcher, who in doing so capped his second hat trick in as many nights, with his 10th goal of the season. That was with 5:18 on the clock, and cut the North Stars’ lead to 6-5. Michael McChesney tied things up with 3:53 remaining, and just 21 seconds later, defenseman Josh Rieger put the Bruins ahead 7-6, before McChesney (2g-1a) salted it away with empty netter in the final minute. Zach Goberis (1g-1a) and Matt McNeil (1g-2a) added first period goals for the Bruins (18-7-0-1), who went a perfect 3-0-0 on their three game road trip to Humboldt, Kindersley and Battelfords.
Coby Downs (1g-1a) and Troy Gerein put the Stars up 2-0 in the first period, before Connor Logan, Keaton Holinaty (1g-1a) and Layne Young all struck in the second to help the Stars (21-6-0-0) to a 5-4 lead through forty minutes, and that was extended to 6-4 early in the third when Connor Sych (1g-1a) scored on a powerplay blast.
Shots on goal were 49-40 in favour of Battlefords.
The North Stars now play three of their next four on the road, starting Wednesday night in Humboldt.
With the Stars’ loss, the longest active winning streak in the SJHL now belongs to the Yorkton Terriers who won their fifth in a row Saturday afternoon in La Ronge, 5-1 over the Ice Wolves.
Nathan Hargrave made 37/38 saves and is now 3-0 as a Terrier, and has a 1.33 GAA and a .960% since coming over from Weyburn.
Cole Keenleyside (1g-1a), Jordan Hudson (1g-1a), Kaleb Bell, Dexter Robinson and Carson Welke did the scoring for the Terriers (10-10-3-0), who wrap up a 3-in-3 Sunday in Melfort.
Jared Blaquiere scored the lone goal for the Ice Wolves (4-18-0-3), spoiling Hargrave’s shutout bid with just over five minutes to play.
The Flin Flon Bombers picked up their third straight win, jumping out to a 3-0 first period lead in Humboldt before cruising to a 5-2 win.
Defenseman Eric Sinclair opened the scoring on a first period powerplay, his first goal as a Bomber, and finished with a goal and an assist (15 points in 11 games this season). Riley Zimmer (1g-1a) and Jason Lavallee also added first period goals, before Nate Hooper (first SJHL goal) and Brody Madarash tacked on the others. Zac Robidoux made 23/25 saves as the Bombers improved to 12-7-2-2, and just like Estevan did, and Yorkton’s hoping for, the Bombers look to sweep a 3-in-3 road trip when they visit Melville on Sunday.
Humboldt’s goals both came in the second period, from Dawson Atamanchuk and Chris Van Os-Shaw. Van Os-Shaw’s 17th of the season puts him back into a tie for the league-lead with Notre Dame’s Ben Duperreault.
For a second straight night the Notre Dame Hounds went to overtime, and after they lost to Melville on Friday, they beat the Weyburn Red Wings in a shootout on the road on Saturday.
Colby Brandt tied the game with 3:15 left in regulation and would later score the shootout winner. Adam Dawe made it 10 straight games with a point, as the 17-year-old notched his 13th goal and 34th point (in 24 games) on the season, while Kobe Kindrachuk also scored and Jordan Greenfield-Flemon made 34/37 saves for the Hounds (12-8-3-1). Ben Duperreault saw a five game goal streak come to an end, but did pick up an assist, extending his point streak to six games.
Jacob Wozney had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings (12-11-0-2) and his brother Noah had two assists. Tyran Brown and Donavon Lumb also scored. Carter Phair stopped 29/32 shots in the SO loss.