By Craig Stein
Hawks’ Point Streak Continues
The SJHL’s top two teams in the standings squared off again Tuesday night in Nipawin, where the league-leading Hawks welcomed the defending champion Battlefords North Stars.
The Hawks, riding a 10 game winning streak, ran out to a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes on goals from Josh McDougall, Austin Mikesch and Jordan Simoneau.
The North Stars chipped away at the lead, making a goaltending change at the start of the second period as Joel Gryzbowski came in for Taryn Kotchorek and stopped all 16 shots he faced the rest of the way, and went 2/2 in the shootout.
Brad Girard got the Stars on the board with just 2:10 left in the second period. Dakota Huebner made it a one goal game with a powerplay marker 6:36 into the third, and Girard forced overtime with his second of the night with 1:31 left on the clock.
The Stars (27-5-2-0) have won five straight and are 8-0-1 in their last nine games. The Hawks’ (28-5-2-3) 10 game winning streak is over, but their point streak is up to 19 games (17-0-1-1).
Battleford now sits five points back of Nipawin for the league lead, still with four games in hand. The Stars’ winning streak is now a league-best .824%.
Evan Plotnik made 22 saves for his second shutout this season, and fifth of his SJHL career, and the Melfort Mustangs blanked the visiting Flin Flon Bombers 3-0.
Carson Albrecht scored at even strength and Kayle Tosh added a powerplay marker in the first period, before Rock Ruschkowski struck short-handed in the second to round out the scoring, as the Mustangs (25-7-4-1) won their fifth straight game.
Brendon Newton stopped 31 of 34 shots in goal for the Bombers (14-19-1-3). Flin Flon welcomes Battlefords for a pair of games this Friday and Saturday.
The game between Kindersley and Notre Dame was postponed due to icy travel conditions. The Klippers were scheduled to begin a four games in five nights road trip, which also has them in Estevan on Wednesday.