By Craig Stein
He was among the league leaders in shutouts as a rookie with five a year ago, but Justen Close was still looking for his first of this season, took care of that Tuesday, making 30 saves as the Kindersley Klippers beat the Notre Dame Hounds 3-0.
Close leads the league this season with a save percentage of .932%.
Cameron Shorrock, Tanner Thompson and Eddie May did the scoring for the Klippers (12-7-2-2). 20-year-old Keillan Olson had a pair of assists in his first game since being acquired from Nipawin.
Jacob Standen made 25/28 saves in goal for the Hounds (18-7-1-3).
The Battlefords North Stars took over top spot in the Olympic Buildings Division and became the SJHL’s first team to crack the 20-win plateau in the process with a 3-2 overtime win over Humboldt.
Troy Gerein potted the winner just 1:06 into the extra frame. Chaseton Braid and Layne Young added the regulation goals, and Joel Gryzbowski made 29/31 saves for the Stars (20-5-1-0), improving his record to 3-0 since being re-assigned by the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades.
Jaxon Joseph had his second straight two goal game for the Broncos (16-9-3-2), and now has 9-goals and 14-points in 12-games since coming over in a trade from Melfort.
The Nipawin Hawks are back to within a point of Melfort for the Sherwood Division lead, thanks to Tuesday’s 5-1 win over Flin Flon.
Michael Grant led the way with two goals, while Christian Bosa, Daven Smith and Jake Tremblay added the others. Jake Anthony got the start again, making 23/24 saves. The Hawks (19-5-2-2) are 8-0-1 in their last 9 games, one point back of Melfort with a game in hand.
Defenseman Calvon Boots scored for the second straight game for the Bombers (9-13-1-3).