The Battlefords North Stars, winners of fifteen games in a row, are the number one ranked team in the CJHL.
The Stars are 22-and-1 on the year, suffering their only loss on October 1st, when they were defeated 6-2 at Yorkton. Of the 22 wins, only four have come in extra time. Three of those were in a three game stretch when they edged Melfort 5-4 in a shootout on October 9th, beat Flin Flon 4-3 in overtime on October 11th, and then defeated La Ronge 4-3 in overtime on October 16th. In a rematch with Yorkton on November 2nd, the Stars won the game 3-2 in overtime.
Head coach Brayden Klimosko says it’s nice to be recognized but also best to keep perspective. “It feels good. It’s a feather in your hat and shows that you are doing things right. I think this will push us to improve in the second half. They don’t give out titles in November, but it’s still a nice accomplishment at this point.”
You’d think a team that’s 22-and-1 wouldn’t need to improve really at all but Klimosko says they need to be more consistent within games. “We play a really great 40 minutes here and an excellent 60 minutes the next night. Our powerplay is something that definitely has to be better (it’s ranked 10th in the 12 team league). As individuals and as a team we need to be better each day.”
Depth is a real strength on this team and there is competition from within for ice time. Going into the year, the biggest question mark was in goal as they didn’t have an experienced netminder but as it turns out, all three on the roster (Adam Dmyterko, Parker Rey, Austin Schwab) have been standouts. “When you have a SPCT of .930, you know the goalies are doing it right and all three have been a big strength for us,” says Klimosko.
The December 1st roster cutdown deadline is looming in the next few weeks and Klimosko says he will be very careful with how he addresses that. “If you make a move, you have to be sure it’s the right move. We have a real good dressing room and their character is what comes first. If someone else comes in, they have to make a positive difference somehow.”
The Stars will play Yorkton for the third time this season on Wednesday, at the Civic Centre. Then, they’ll get a ten day break before settling on two more home games games against Estevan and Weyburn. They’ll close out the month with three games in three nights on the road (Yorkton, Notre Dame, Weyburn).