The Battlefords North Stars kicked off the 2023 Centennial Cup Thursday morning with a 4-1 win over the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the SIJHL.
It was a bit of a slow start for the Canterra Seeds Cup Champions from the prairies as they took to the ice for game action for the first time in 19 days.
The Stars would open the scoring near the midway point of the first period and it would be SJHL Playoff MVP Steven Kesslering potting the first goal of the tournament and giving the Saskatchewan champs a 1-0 lead.
They would double theirlead with just 21 seconds left in the opening stanza as Kesslering’s line-mate Jackson Allan would tickle the twine and net his first of the tournament, giving the Stars a 2-0 lead going into the middle frame.
Kam River would push back in the 2nd and would get back to within one 6:59 into the frame as Jeremy Dunmore beat Josh Kotai.
Battlefords restored their two goal advantage late in the 2nd period with a rocket from the blue line from Tanner Gold.
The Stars would then add an insurance marker in the 3rd off the stick of Colby Bear and Battlefords would walk away with a 4-1 win and are now 1-0 at the Centennial Cup.
Battlefords will have Friday off before returning to the ice for the first game of the day Saturday when they meet the OJHL Champion Collingwood Blues. Puck drop is at 10:30am (Saskatchewan time)
Post-Game Comments from HC/GM Brayden Klimosko & Stars forward Steven Kesslering can be found below.
Also on Day One of the Centennial Cup, the Brooks Bandits earned a 7-2 win over the Yarmouth Mariners and the Collingwood Blues edged the Steinbach Pistons 2-1 in overtime. A full recap of Day One can be found in the CJHL’s Road to the Cup Series which can be found below.