By Craig Stein
Hounds Come Up Big At Home As They Look For Top 6 Spot
The Notre Dame Hounds have held down a spot in the top six for most, if not all of this season, and that’s been in jeopardy lately, with Kindersley on a recent surge and Weyburn also nipping at their heels, combined with the Hounds on an early February slump.
They made a big stride to help their cause on Sunday, hosting the Battlefords North Stars and battling to a 4-3 win over the second place overall Stars.
Chance Longjohn (1g-1a), Chaz Smedsrud, Connor Mylymok and Jack Flaman did the scoring while Jack Ryan made 28/31 saves.
The Hounds (27-20-1-4) are now three points up on 7th place Weyburn, and six ahead of 8th place Kindersley. Weyburn has one game in hand while Kindersley has two.
Layne Young had a pair of third period points for the North Stars (38-11-2-0), giving him 34-goals and 98-points on the season. Just four Stars were on the scoresheet with goals and assists, and they all had two point nights. Along with Young, Keith Anderson scored twice while Levi Kleiboer and Cole Johnson each had two assists.
The Stars remain four points back of Nipawin for the league lead, and have already clinched their division and no worse than second overall. They’ll try to salvage their three game trip Monday when they visit Weyburn for a 3:00 start. They’ve had tough luck so far, out-shooting their opponents (EST/ND) a total of 80-44 in two games, but coming out with a pair of one-goal regulation losses.
Connor Smith scored his second goal of the game and 20th of the season 3:43 into overtime, and the La Ronge Ice Wolves (9-39-0-3) ended an 11-game winless streak with a 4-3 (OT) decision in Yorkton.
Mitch Zambon had a season-high three points with a goal and two assists. Matthew Perkins scored against his former club, and Merek Pipes, also against his ex-teammates, made 36/39 saves in the win.
Slater Strong, Josh Dobberthien and Brendan Mark replied for the Terriers (12-34-3-2).
Yorkton’s 12 points back of Melville for a playoff spot and they’re down to seven games left. They’ll host the Ice Wolves again on Family Day Monday at 2:00.