Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stars Improve to 3-3 With a Win in Humboldt

For the first time since I've lived in the Battlefords, the North Stars won a regular season game at the Elgar Peterson Arena.

Tonight the Stars beat the Humboldt Broncos 5-4 and earned their first road victory of the season.

The Stars never trailed in this game. Brett Miller (2), Josh Daley, Shay Neufeld, and Mitch Wall scored for the Stars.

Spencer Braaten (2), Griffin Lacey, and Cam Gibson responded for Humboldt.

Tonight's game featured the return of both Dominic Perrault and Woody Klassen, and the Stars didn't miss a beat. Woody and 'Dom' were two of the best tonight, and both were able to contribute at both ends of the ice.

Game highlights included:

- A breakaway stop by Kyle Birch on Griffin Lacey midway through the third period that saved the game for the Stars.

- A great third period by the Stars where everybody ;sacked up' and made big plays.

- Josh Daley's "no-look" pass to Shay Neufeld was a thing of beauty.

- Mitch Wall, Brett Miller and Ryan Anderson dominating the play almost every single shift.


Don't plan the parade just yet, but this game was a sign of things to come for your Stars.

I hope you enjoyed listening as much as I enjoyed calling the action.

See you Friday.

Stars @ Broncos - Game Preview

Start Time - 8:00 (Sasktel Pregame Show at 7:45)

Tonight the Battlefords North Stars (2-3) head to the Elgar Peterson Arena for their first matchup of the year against the defending SJHL champion Humboldt Broncos (3-1-1). These two teams met in last year's post-season with the Humboldt Broncos taking the series in six games. The last time that the North Stars won a regular season game in Humboldt was back in 2006-2007, so to say that the Stars are due would be an emphatic understatement.

Who's Hot:

Offensively, the 'Broncs' are led by forward's Spencer Braaten (Bra-ten) and Justin Buzzeo. Braaten has chipped in with six points in five games, while Buzzeo has tallied four points. North Star fans will remember Braaten and his Game 5 heroics against the Stars in last year's playoffs.

Who's on D:

I'm sure that the Stars are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that they no longer have to face the menacing Brady Wacker, or Tanner Vandesype. That being said, the Broncos do have some weapons on D, and cannot be taken the least bit lightly. Mitch Peeke, Kenton Valliant, Kyle Cowan, and Colton Allan can all play at this level, but perhaps the one specific 'D-man' to watch out for is 91 born Cade Kimery. According to their stats, he's the only Humboldt defenceman who has scored.

Who's in Goal:

With Andrew Bodnarchuk currently in Okotoks trying out for Team Canada West, we will likely be seeing Matt LaRochelle. The North Stars have had some decent success against La Rochelle, beating him twice in last year's playoffs. Don't kid yourself though, this guy can play. He's 1-1-1 with a GAA of 2.27 and a save percentage of .905%


Spencer Braaten. This guy absolutely devoured the North Star's last year. If the Stars can keep his name off of the stats sheet, they'll be in good shape.

Who's Hot:

The North Stars have five different players with five points to start this season, and in order for them to beat Humboldt they are going to need consistente contributions again. However, it certainly wouldn't hurt for the Stars to get a three-point performance out of somebody.

Who's On D:

Woody Klassen and Dominic Perrault may both be suited up tonight for the North Stars. It will be great to see if both can draw in and make an immediate impact. Woody and Dom can both play physical, and they'll have too if they want to keep their spots.

Who's in Goal:

Intuition tells me that Kyle Birch gets the start tonight. The only reasoning I have for that is that Graham Hilldebrand started in Yorkton and lost the game.


North Star's captain Mitch Wall. Wallsy will now be playing his fourth game of the season, and he has still yet to score a goal. Don't kid yourself - Wall will score plenty of goals this season, but he's got to get the first one. Why not tonight, in Humboldt against the team that ended his season last year.

The Battlefords North Stars need to get a win on the road simply for confidence sake. A win against Humboldt would set them up nicely heading into a busy stretch this weekend with Melville on Friday and Melfort on Saturday.

Is it too early to call this game a 'must win?'

What are your thoughts heading into Humboldt tonight?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stars Acquire Ricci from the Bruins in Exchange for Lane.

The Jordan Lane experiment is over in the Battlefords.

Battlefords North Stars head coach/general manager Ken Pearson announced this afternoon that the Stars have dealt 20-year-old forward Jordan Lane to the Estevan Bruins in exchange for 19-year-old forward Carlo Ricci.

"Ricci is a skilled center, good vision and he plays with some grit," said the coach. "Estevan was looking for some size. We need a center with skill and grit."

Ricci will wear #12 for the Stars, but will not be accompanying the team on their road-trip to Humboldt tomorrow evening.


I expect this trade to be greeted warmly by the North Star fans. The sad reality is that there were very few Lane-lovers out there. I have spoken to a handful of fans that were not convinced that Lane belonged here.

There is no doubt that Lane can bring a ton of experience and toughness to a team, but through five games in a North Star uniform, he never really showed any of that. He did score twice, but I personally think that Lane will thrive more in Estevan. It's a smaller rink, and Estevan has typically possessed 'tall teams' in the past and it has served them well.

Jordan was a nice guy, and I enjoyed my brief conversations with him. But having another true centerman in the fold will be a nice change as well. Ricci is not big, he's only about 5'9, 165 lbs.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stars D Gets a Major Boost!

Woody Klassen and Dominic Perrault are coming back to the Battlefords.

North Star's Coach Ken Pearson announced tonight that both 'Dom' and Woody will be back, and will hopefully be able to suit up for the North Stars on Wednesday night in Humboldt.

Klassen and Perrault are both 18-years-old and both have the talent and capabilities to make an impact on the team.

Klassen was let go by the Saskatoon Blades while Dominic comes to us via the Regina Pats. Both fell victim to a numbers game, and were not given the playing time that both will receive when they get here.

Both are physical, both can move the puck, and both should be able to contribute offensively.

However the readdition of these two creates quite a log-jam on defence. Here is what we're dealing with now:

*Each player has their age and their hand beside them

Lebreton (L - 20 ) - Folstad (19 - R)

Malek (L - 20) - Brodbin (R - 20)

Perrault (L - 18) - Klassen (L - 18)

Cameron (L - 18) - Spiess (R - 18)

Wourms (L - 19)

There is no chance that this team keeps nine defencemen in the fold, so we can realistically expect more changes to take place sooner than later. As it stands right now, with nine defenceman, 14 forwards, and two goalies - The Stars are sitting right at the 25 player maximum.

Good news eh?

Josh Daley on the Sports Fix Tonight!

Battlefords North Stars forward Josh Daley is my first guest on tonight's program. Together we'll discuss his transition from Pittsburgh to the SJHL, and how the SJHL differs from the NAHL. I'll also be asking Josh if he's ready for the bitter-cold of a Saskatchewan winter!

Not just that, but tonight we're talking High School football with North Battleford Comp Viking quarterback Dan Sidebottom.

We'll also talk CFL with former CFL quarterback, Grey Cup champ, and current color commentator for the BC Lions radio broadcasts Giullio Caravatta.

Tune into the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix tonight at 6:30 on CJNB/CJNS or

Also, stay tuned to the blog tonight, because there could be an announcement or two.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Recap

Saturday night the Stars penalty-killing woes continued. Yorkton scored three times out of 7, en-route to a 4-3 victory.

Tory Stott had a big night for the Terriers, scoring his first three goals of the season. David Skagen scored the other.

The North Stars got offence from Brody Malek (1) , Jordan Lane (2) and Ryan Andersen (3).

“We were a little happier with the effort tonight, but still there are too many guys not willing to pay the price,” said coach Ken Pearson after Saturday’s game.

The Stars are winless on the road in three opportunities and currently sit fourth in the Bauer Conference. bNext up for the Stars, a road tilt with the Humboldt Broncos on Wednesday, September 30 at 8:00.

Catch the Sask-Tel Pregame show at 7:45.


It was a dissapointing weekend for the Stars.

Two wins, or a split down South would have done wonders for this team's confidence moving forward.

Both games had lots in common, and unfortunately there weren't too many positives.

- Both games, the defenceman had trouble clearing the puck out of their own zone. Combine this fact with the wingers and center not coming back nearly far enough to assist with a breakout pass. The coach singled out his wingers last night and said, "they need to help out more and give our defenceman a better option."

- The penalty-kill stunk. The Stars struggled with faceoffs, struggled with positioning, and Graham and Kyle were hung-out to dry too many times.

- Too many failed two-on-one chances and too many shots from the perimeter. After the Yorkton game, the coach said, "We're not a skilled team. We are the furthest thing from a skilled team in this league. If we are going to get goals, they are going to come from hard-work and paying the price."

All of that being said, the Stars are still in decent shape. They are 2-3-0,0. They are a better team offensively then last year, and it's only a matter of time before things start to click.

They are 'closer' than 'farther' in my opinion.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Personal Reaction to Tonight

Ken Pearson put it best when he said, "We made a 16-year-old goalie look like a seasoned veteran."

Yes, the Stars got lots of shots, but rookie netminder Zack Rackochy.only had maybe two or three difficult stops all night. Everything else either hit him square in the chest or went wide.

The first period (in my opinion) was okay. Although the score was 1-0, it felt like we were in the game and that it was only a matter of time....

Well the time never came. The Stars tried to beat the Mils with skill rather than effort, and in the end it costed the Stars two points.

Not a single memorable hit was thrown, the Stars got ZERO traffic in front of Rackochy, and it will be interesting to see hoe the team bounces back tomorrow night in Yorkton

.I can't even really single out any studs for us tonight. I could single-out some otherd who did not make an impact, but I will gladly refrain. This bus is VERY quiet right now and rightfully so.

Yorkton is next and they are a team that we SHOULD beat. The Terriers have not been playing very well and have been having a tough time scoring.

A split this weekend will still be considered a success to me, but a loss tomorrow night and the road woes will only stick in their heads longer.

Here's hoping for a better effort tomorrow.

Thanks for listening tonight.

Stars Fall 4-1 in Melville

Here is the game summary. 

1 2 3 T

BAT 16 12 16 44
MVL 15 12 11 38
Period 1 Summary

MVL 16 Logan Herauf (90) from (8 Michael Desjarlais (91), 27 Aaron Decorby (89))

Period 2 Summary

7:02 MVL 20 Cody Hanson (90)from (12 Matt Kinnunen (89), 7 Craig Karius (90)) PP

Period 3 Summary

3:01 MVL 18 Michael Rogoschewsky (90) from (12 Matt Kinnunen (89), 26 Tyler Howe (91))

6:08 BAT 9 Shay Neufeld (90)from (16 Josh Daley (90)

8:03 MVL 23 Michael Jordan (89) (13 Austin Krahenbil

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday Preview: Stars Hit the Road Tomorrow Morning.

Through three games, the North Stars have played some 'pretty good' hockey. They've scored consistently, they've stood up for one another, and the goaltending has been reliable enough to win two out of three games.

But winning at home has never been the problem for this team. The road however is a much different story.

Over the past two years, the Battlefords North Stars have beaten the following teams on the road (*excluding preseason and playoffs):

La Ronge Ice Wolves (3 times - all in 08-09)
Kindersley Klippers (3 times - Once in 07/08, twice in O8/09)
Melfort Mustangs (Once in 07/08)
Flin Flon Bombers (Once in 07/08)

If the Battlefords North Stars want to classify themselves as a top team in the SJHL, they need to start winning on the road consistently. A victory or two this weekend would do wonders for their confidence as September winds down.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Last Season:

The Battlefords North Stars actually went 2-2 against the Millionaires last year with both of their wins coming at home. The Stars defeated the Mil's 5-4 in overtime, and then 3-1 on January 17th, 2009 during parents weekend. On the road, the Stars dropped a pair of 4-2 decisions.

Who's Hot for Melville Up Front?:

Forwards Aaron Decorby and Logan Herauf have both tallied five points in the past two games for the Mils. Newcomer Mike Desjarlais added four points in his debut weekend in the SJ.

On Defence:

It doesn't get much more steady then Jordan Reeve and Austin Krahenbil. These two 20-year-olds may be two of the most reliable defencemen in the SJHL. Krahenbil has four points through two games, and Reeve has an assist.

In goal:

20-year-old Brady Wilyman started both games for the Mils in their opening series with Estevan. His numbers were good, not great. I'm wondering if coach Fiesel would consider starting 16-year-old Zack Rackochy.


A tie between forwards Tyson Melnychuk and Michael Jordan. These two 20-year-olds were held pointless in two games against the Bruins, and both are going to be hungry to get on the score sheet. If the Stars can prevent these two players from making an impact, they should give themselves a chance to win.

Who's Hot for the North Stars Up Front?:

In the past, Melville never needed to concern themselves with defending four capable scoring lines, but this season is different. Heading into Friday's game, it's safe to suggest that the Daley-Peake-Neufeld line is probably the biggest offensive threat. Those three have conbined for 12 points in three games.

On Defence:

Offensively, the blueline will once again rely on Jesse Lebreton. 'Lebby' is off to a great start with four points in three games, and the readdition of Brodbin and Malek back into the lineup seemed to help his confidence a ton. A good game from Lebreton will put the Stars in a great position to win.

In Goal:

Flip a coin. With two games in two nights, coach Ken Pearson will 'almost' certainly start Graham Hilldebrand and Kyle Birch at some point this weekend. The million dollar question though: Do you give Kyle a third straight start? Or do you start the road-trip with Hilldebrand and give him a chance to get his first W and get some confidence going.

If its me choosing? I'm going with Graham in Melville. But it's not, so we'll move on.


For the Stars I have also selected two players.

1) Brett Miller - Miller always seems to 'bring it' for Melville games. Miller practically beat the Millionaires on his own back on January 17 (one goal, one assist), and perhaps this trend could continue on the road. It'll be his first game back with the Stars, so one would assume that he'll be pretty fired up to make an impression with his teammates.

2) Jordan Lane - The Melville Millionaires are a bigger team than both Kindersley and La Ronge, and Lane may finally get a chance to go toe-to-toe with one of their players. Mainly though, Lane has a real opportunity to make his presence known in front of the Millionaire's net. Austin Krahenbil might be the best defensive defenceman in the league, but can he get the job done against a 6-7, 245 pound presence in front of his net?

Both games this weekend can be heard live on CJNB/CJNS or here.

The Sasktel Pregame Show starts at 7:15, and the Northland Rentals North Star's broadcast kicks off at 7:30.

Care to share your predictions?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Personal Thoughts / Photos from Tuesday

Here are some of the better photos taken by Julie Larson during tonight's game. Click on the individual photo to see the full-sized image.

Josh Daley, one second before he makes it a 2-1 game.

Tough to tell without the numbers, but Nathan Tomac (I think) fighting Mike Alexander?

Peake using some explosive speed.

Welcome back to the Lineup Mitch Wall


Here are some of my personal thoughts on tonight's game:

1) The North Stars defence seemed so much more confident and relaxed with the re-addition of Coleman Brodbin and Brody Malek. Brodin was named third star on the La Ronge broadcast, and he would have been mine too.

2) Kyle Birch played another solid game. Not the best I've seen from Birchy, but he made some nice saves in the first period to help keep the game in hand for his team.

3) Adam Bartko was unreal for La Ronge! The North Battleford product looked sensational, and should have started tonight for the Ice Wolves IMO. Seriously, he made about seven saves that most goalies in this league would have let in.

4) The North Stars have a lot of depth. Seriously, I was looking at the lineup tonight, scratching my head and wondering outloud: "Where is Brett Miller going to fit in?" I'm sure the coach will find some place, and I have no doubt that Brett Miller's return can only make this team better. But it's definitely a good sign when there isn't a single player on the ice that you'd want scratched the next night.

5) This upcoming road trip could be an early turning point in the North Star's season. The Stars haven't won a regular season game in Yorkton, Melville or Humboldt since I've covered the team, yet this team seems poised to win a lot more hockey games this year. If the Stars can even win two out of their next three, they are in fantastic shape heading into October.

7) I wish we could broadcast all 58 games.


Stars Win Their Second Straight

The Battlefords North Stars met up with their Bauer Conference rivals from La Ronge tonight, and defeated them 5-2 in front of 732 fans at the Civic Center.

Jesse Lebreton (2) kick-started the offence early with a powerplay goal just 1:21 into the contest.

11 minutes later, Travis Gordon would respond for the Ice Wolves with a powerplay tally of his own and it looked like the Wolves and Stars would go back and forth for 60 minutes.

The Stars regained control at 13:53 when Josh Daley (3) scored off a Cody Folstad rebound. Shay Neufeld (1) bulged the twine 26 seconds later, and the Stars led 3-1.

Jesse Lebreton (3) scored his second of the night at 7:52 of the middle frame, and that would spell the end of goaltender Chris Jackson.

North Battleford's Adam Bartko would replace Jackson, and performed outstanding. Bartko made several fantastic stops, and kept his team in it.

The Stars would add one more goal when Blake Tatchell (2) wired home a point-blank slapshot on a powerplay.

Doug Lindensmith scored the lone goal of the third period on a powerplay.

The final shots on goal were 38-38, and Battlefords goaltender Kyle Birch earned his second consecutive win of the young season. Lost in the shuffle of a 5-2 win was the play of Birch, who looked calm and steady throughout the game.

Up next for the Stars - The Melville Millionaires. The game goes Friday night from Melville. Make sure you tune into the broadcast Friday night starting at 7:15.

I'll post some personal thoughts and some photos in a few minutes.

Stars - Ice Wolves (Game Day Preview)

Tonight is the first matchup of the season between these two division rivals. Last season it was in large part thanks to the Wolves that the North Stars earned a playoff birth. The Stars had a 5-1 record against their Bauer Conference foes last year, and ended up defeating the Wolves twice at the N.B. Civic Center.

That being said - La Ronge (on paper) is a much better team then last season. They head into this game with an impressive 2-0 record.

La Ronge Ice Wolves:

Who's Hot:

Mike Alexander. He started his SJHL career in style with a five-point weekend against the Nipawin Hawks. The 20-year-old D-Man provides a nice compliment to Dustin Stevenson, and will most likely be one of the biggest threats on the ice tonight for La Ronge.

Who's in Goal:

When I spoke with La Ronge coach Bob Beatty yesterday, he hinted that we would probably get to see North Battleford's Adam Bartko (1-0). Bartko spent time with the North Star's last year, and by many people's admission never truely got a chance to proove himself.

You can bet any sum of money that he would LOVE to come back here and stick it to the North Stars. I'd be shocked if we didn't see Bartko tonight.

Potential Ex-Factor:

Forwards Doug Lindensmith and Richard Cameron.

Lindensmith was a Star's killer last year. He always seemed to chip in with a goal or two, and really seemed to gain a lot of confidence at the season wore on. He was especially tough on the Stars at the Civic Center.

Richard Cameron is another North Battleford product that would love to come in and make an impression against his former team. He was let go by the Stars back in November of last year, and has now resurfaced with the Wolves. Cameron has a goal and a helper this season already for his new club.

The Battlefords North Stars:

Who's Hot:

Who's NOT?!? That is the real question. The North Stars are coming off a weekend in which they scored 15 goals in two games. Granted they only have a record of 1-1, but it's certainly safe to say that they've been receiving contributions from everyone in the lineup. If I had to choose a player, I'd go with Blake Peake. Peake had a breakout game at home on Saturday night, and should be looked upon to lead the way offensively again here tonight.

Who's in Goal:

Kyle Birch will get his second straight start for the North Stars tonight. Birch earned a 9-5 win against the Kindersley Klippers and played very well in doing-so. Coach Ken Pearson has made it clear that both Birch and Hilldebrand will get significant playing time this season. Ken made good use of the "Win and you stay in," school of thought last year, and while I don't think it will breakdown quite like that this year, Kyle's start tonight would certainly lend itself to that type of logic.

Potential Ex-Factor:

Forwards Mitch Wall and Tony Oak, Defencemen Coleman Brodbin and Brody Malek.

These four vets are all returning from their two-game suspensions suffered on the 8th of March last year. These four players will all be chomping at the bit to make an impact on this game. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Wall and Malek provide some scoring, and Oak and Brodbin to add some toughness to the lineup.


Battlefords North Stars Lineup Tonight:


D - Baptiste
D - Spiess
F - Wakelin


Peake - Daley - Neufeld

Wall - Tatchell - Waskewitch

Oak - Tomac - Watt

Lane - Andersen - Szucki


Lebreton - Folstad

Brodbin - Malek

Cameron - Wourms



Tonight's game won't be on the air, but I'll certainly be providing twitter updates. Plus I'm also going to try and do color commentary for Dallas Hick's broadcast for the La Ronge Ice Wolves. You can listen to tonight's game

Enjoy the game tonight. Care to share your predictions?

Another Local Returning....

18-year-old Forward Brett Miller is coming back today.

The North Battleford product comes back from the Everett Silvertips of the WHL.

The Stars depth gets even better up front. It's doubtful that Miller will play tonight, but he should definitely be good to go for the weekend eoad trip!

Who doe you think Miller will play with? What will he be capable of this year?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Opener Photos

I am so excited to post these. Julie Larson (who I happen to be dating!) took some stellar photos from last night's home opener, and I've posted them below. Make sure you leave her lots of positive comments, and she'll take more!

Can you locate your favourite player?

Szucki goes toe-to-toe with Perrault.

Kyle Birch makes a sensational save.

He's even bigger up close.

Great game Guys!

Home Opener Game Summary

The Battlefords North Stars split their home-and-home weekend series with the Kindersley Klippers. Saturday night, the Stars weathered an early storm of penalties and beat their rivals 9-5.

The Klippers quickly grabbed a 2-0 lead. Taylor Duzan and Jordan Braid scored on the power-play, and the Stars couldn’t avoid the penalty box. The referee called five straight penalties on the Stars, and the fans did not react kindly.

But the Klippers only potted two, and the Stars finally gained some momentum back. Jesse Lebreton scored his first of the year on a back-hand shot from the high slot. Cody Folstad would tie things up on a powerplay, and the Stars and Klips were tied at 2 after one period of play.

The second period was all Stars. Ryan Andersen scored 27 seconds into the period, and the flood-gates opened. Blake Peake, Blake Tatchell, Boyd Wakelin, Justin Waskewitch, and Josh Daley all scored afterwards, and the Stars led 8-2.

Klipper’s coach Larry Wintoneak pulled goaltender Riley Ross at 2:18 of the second period in favor of Josh Thorimbert, but put him back in at 4:02. Ross was pulled again at the 5:00 mark, and Thorimbert finished the game.

Steven Turner would add a late power-play goal late in the second to move the deficit to 5.

Jordan Braid and Taylor Duzan would score in the third for Kindersley, and Ryan Andersen scored another for the Stars to push the score to 9-5.

Kindersley finished the game 5 for 12 on the man advantage, the Stars were 3 for 8.

Up next for the Stars, a Tuesday home game against the La Ronge Ice Wolves. The puck drops at 7:30.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stars Win! 9-5 over the Klippers

More details to follow in the next 24 hours.

Daley, Waskewitch, Tatchell, Cameron, Wakelin, Peake, Lebreton, Folstad and Andersen scored.

Birch made 31 saves!

One Hour Til Home Opener..

The Battlefords North Stars are taking the ice in an hour's time for their home opener against the Kindersley Klippers.

Here are the gametime scratches:


8 - Jonothan Sonntag
12 - Rory Mckie
20 - Sean Flanagan


4 - Brody Malek
14 - Mitch Wall
17 - Tony Oak
24 - Coleman Brodbin

Starting Goaltenders:


Riley Ross (1-0)


Kyle Birch (0-0)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Klipps Down the Stars 6-4.

The Kindersley Klippers managed to hold on to a 6-4 victory, and the Stars lost their opener for a third straight season.

The Klipps scored four unanswered goals in the second period and forced Ken Pearson to pull Graham Hilldebrand at the 5 minute mark of the 2nd. Travis Eggum and Jordan Braid were the two main offensive catylysts for the home team.

The Stars picked up their play in the third and damn nearly got even closer, hut they failed to execute on six PP trys and Klippers goalie Riley Ross stood tall when he needed too.

Scoring for the Battlefords: Daley, Lane, Wakelin and Waskewitch.

For Kindersley: Braid (2), Eggum, Calkins, Clark and Myzoriuk.


Overall the Klippers were tghe better team. Numerous times on the air I stated that there were "Too many passengers," on the ice tonight.

Wakelin, Daley, Lane, Neufeld, Birch and Watt stood out to me, but that being said - Nobody on the Stars could claim that they played their best game.

The defence took too many chances and looked inexperienced against the Klipper forwards. The home squad won more battles, and took advantage of numerous mistakes.

That being said: There were some positives, and the Stars get a great chance to redeem themselves in front of their home fans tomorrow night.

This bus is eerily quiet righr now. I would be shocked if the Stars played like this tomorrow night.

57 more to go. I hope to see you all at the rink tomorrow night.

The Sasktel Pregame Show kicks off at 7:15. Hope you are listening. Good night fans, thanks for your wicked support.

Less Than an Hour

North Star Nation, I hope you are fired up! I have that jittery, excited feeling right now. I love opening night and I know that the boys won't dissapoint tonight.

Here is the lineup for tonight:

Peake - Daley - Tomac

Wakelin - Tomac - Watt

Szucki - Tatchell - Waskewitch

Lane - - Andersen

Lebreton - Folstad

Cameron - Baptiste

Wourms - Speiss



Tonight's broadcast will be great. Ward Szucki is my 2nd Intermission Shooting Star Profile, and Tony Oak is my first intermission guest.

Enjoy the call tonight guys.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Graf Dealt to Dauphin...

Here are the details:

Battlefords North Stars coach/GM Ken Pearson has announced this morning that F - Colton Graf (90) has been traded to the Dauphin Kings (MJHL) in exchange for D - Koltyn Miller (91).

Pearson also sent F - Skyler Dunser (91) to the Nipawin Hawks in exchange for Future Considerations.


Graf was the second leading scorer for the North Star's last season, and has long been considered a 'real talent' in the SJHL. The problem is - and I don't think I'm alone in thinking this:

Colton Graf was streaky.

There were games last year when Graf was on fire. He was winning faceoffs, he was back checking, and he was scoring goals. Other nights? Well.. I think you know the story.

The bottom line here is that Graf is going to a great organization in Dauphin, and one that has an opportunity to host the Royal Bank Cup this year. I've said it before, and I've even said it to him personally:

If he just puts his head down and plays - He'll be incredibly tough to stop.


Best of luck to Skyler Dunser as he heads to Nipawin. If put with the right players, I have no doubt that he can also find success at this level.


Check out the new blog poll. I'm very curious to know your answers.


Only one more sleep until hockey officially starts? Does it get any better. I hope you're listening tomorrow night!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Busy Day....

I have been up since 4:10 am this morning, but as I sit here typing this blog I can honestly say that it has been worth it. We are one day closer to Friday's opener, another day closer to our home opener, and North Star Nation is officially buzzing.

First things first:

The kick-off breakfast this morning was outstanding. Thank you so much to all of you who attended, and really helped kick off our season the right way. The food was delicous, and the crowd support was easily the best I've seen at a North Star kickoff breakfast.


The Battlefords North Stars may not be getting Brett Miller back. I discovered today (thanks Kyle for the tip) that Brett Miller has been dealt by the Red Deer Rebels to the Everett Silvertips for a Conditional Pick.

Things didn't seem to work out for Millsy in Red Deer, and we certainly wish him the best of luck with a new atmosphere and a new team in Everett.


The Battlefords North Stars have released 20-year-old forward Ryan Toporowski. Another tough decision from the coaching staff, but he's simply another victim of the numbers game.

I really enjoyed chatting with Ryan over the past few weeks. He's a funny kid, and great in the faceoff circle. I wish him all the best.


I had my first interview with Jordan Lane today. This kid is 'as advertised.' He's big! But he's legit. He's a confident speaker, and seems really excited to be in the Battlefords.

I don't know how willing the rest of the SJHL tough-guys are going to be when it comes to dropping the mitts with Lane, but I'm sure he'll get some challenges sooner than later.

He said that it felt good to practice with the team, and overall he has been impressed with how warmly he's been greeted by the team. You can catch my interview with Lane on the Friday night broadcast of the SJHL Game of the Week on Access 7 Communications.


Ken Pearson has been on the phone all afternoon, and me thinks that there is something else brewing....

Again, you'll be the first to know when something becomes official.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stars Cut Two, Reassign One

The Battlefords North Stars are down to a 24-man roster after the latest round of cuts.

North Star's coach and GM Ken Pearson announced today that Goaltender - Coleman Young and Forward - Skyler Dunser have been released, and Forward - Tanner Schwab has been reassigned to Midget AAA (Battlefords).

With the release of Young, this means that the North Stars will start the season with Kyle Birch and Graham Hilldebrand as their two goalies.

Birch's return prompted some people to think that perhaps one of them would be traded. But after speaking with both of them earlier today, Ken Pearson said that both are willing to sacrifice personal stats for the good of the team.

Easier said than done, but if that holds true, then the Stars are in an excellent position in net. Pearson also said that both would get ample playing time, but if one is out-performing the other, then they will be the one who gets first consideration for games.

The release of Dunser was a tough decision for the coaching staff. He brought a strong work-ethic and a great attitude to camp, but he a long with Ben Morgan simply got caught in a numbers game.

The reassingment of Schwab is a little surprising. Schwab would likely be the first to admit that he didn't have the strongest camp, but his play did improve dramatically down the stretch. You can bet he'll likely be one of the first players considered for an AP role with the club. Schwab has already proven that he can play at this level, but another year of Midget AAA may be just what the doctor ordered.

With 24 kids carded, that still leaves one more spot open. This gives the coach an opportunity to bring in another defenceman if need be. Anybody who knows the coach, knows that there are always irons in the fire. But that being said, he also likes to keep his cards close to his chest.

Who's coming to Kindersley for Friday's game? I think the North Star fans need to make an impression early. Why not come to Kindersley on Friday with the air-horns booming and really make some noise?

The second I hear something new, you'll be the first to know. See you tomorrow morning for the Annual Breakfast. It starts at 7:00 am, and goes til 8:15.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two Cuts Remain..

Battlefords North Stars coach Ken Pearson announced this afternoon that Forward Ben Morgan has been cut by the team, and he is free to pursue other hockey playing options.

That leaves two more cuts to take place.

Look Out, the Stars just got even Tougher!

Jordan Lane is a Battlefords North Star.

Ken Pearson acquired his rights a year ago, and finally we are going to get a look at this guy. lists him as 6ft8, 245lbs!

Coach Ken Pearson says that Lane will add obvious toughness and strength to the team, but he should also add an offensive component and some leadership and experience. He spent last year with Moncton of the QMJHL, but judging from his numbers it doesn't look like he ever got a fair shot to play in an offensive role. The year before he scored 10 goals playing in Dauphin, MB.


Tonight's edition of the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix should be another great one. I'll be speaking with goaltender Kyle Birch about his time in Medicine Hat, and together we'll preview the upcoming season and discuss Star's chances. Kyle has always been a confident kid, but you're not going to want to miss what he had to say today.

Also I'll be speaking with GX 94's Craig Stein. Craig might be one of the only guys out there who has a busier life than I do, yet he still made time for the program. He does the play by play for the Yorkton Terriers, Melville Millionaires and a ton of MJHL stuff too. Craig is one of the best in the league when it comes to blogging as well, you can check out Steiner's Stall in my favourite blog section.

And finally we'll be talking Unity football with head coach Pat Orobko.

The show starts at 8:00 CST, and can be heard on 1050 CJNB or


Only one cut so far from the North Stars, and that is goaltender Spencer Laycock.

The Stars are now left with 3 goaltenders, 7 defenceman, and 18 forwards. As it stands right now it would seem like three forwards need to go, but don't rule out the possibility of another trade or another signing.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Now the Tough Part..


Mitch Wall - 20
Troy Watt - 20
Blake Peake - 20
Ryan Toporowski - 20
Josh Daley - 19
Ryan Andersen - 19
Colton Graf - 19
Tony Oak - 19
Shay Neufeld - 19
Blake Tatchell - 18
Boyd Wakelin - 18
Ward Scuzki - 18
Ben Morgan - 18
Nathan Tomac - 18
Skyler Dunser - 18
Justin Waskewitch - 17
Tanner Schwab - 17

Forwards Still at WHL camps:

Jordan Lane - 20
Brett Miller - 18


Jesse Lebreton - 20
Coleman Brodbin - 20
Brody Malek - 20
Myles Cameron - 19
Cody Folstad - 19
Devon Spiess - 18
Kolten Baptiste - 17

Defenceman Still at WHL Camps:

Woody Klaussen - 18
Dominic Perrault - 18


Kyle Birch - 19
Graham Hilldebrand - 18
Coleman Young - 18
Spencer Laycock - 18

Exluding the WHLers, there are 28 players remaining, and only 25 can be carded for opening night.

Stars Down the Klippers 6-5 in a shootout.

The Battlefords North Stars preseason came to an end Saturday night with a 6-5 victory over the visiting Kindersley Klippers.

Close to 500 fans lined the stands of the Civic Center, and watched a younger Stars lineup battle for every inch of ice with their Sherwood Conference Rivals.

It was Kindersley who grabbed the early momentum. They outshot the Stars 15-8 in the first period, and managed two goals.

The first came at the 6 minute mark courtesy of Travis Eggum on the power play. Eggum simply went to the net hard, and banged home a Jonothan Sonntag shot to give his team a 1-0 lead. Kevin Clark would then make it 2-0 at 18:36.

The second period was a different story. The Stars came out more physical, more fast and sooner than later they got a break. Blake Tatchell, Shay Neufeld and Mitch Wall came racing into the offensive zone, and a neat three-way passing play resulted in Mitch Wall burying the first Star’s goal of the game.

Mid-way through the second period the Stars got another break – but it came at a price. Ryan Toporowski was hit from behind by Klipper’s forward Kevin Clark. Topper’s night was done, and so was Clark’s. He was given 5 minutes and a game misconduct for checking from behind, and the Stars made good on the man advantage.

Myles Cameron let a shot go from the left point, and Klipper’s goaltender Riley Ross had trouble with the shot, he left a juicy rebound, and Ward Szucki pounced and scored the equalizer.

At 16:10 of the second, Tony Oak would give the Stars their first lead. His goal was a direct result of some hard work behind the Kindersley net by Boyd Wakelin and Nathan Tomac. Oak received a pass at the side of the net, and managed to stuff it home. Tanner Schwab would add a short-handed goal, and all of a sudden the Stars had a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Momentum changed early in the third, when Andrew Dommett scored on the first Klipper shot of the final stanza. It was definitely a goal that Stars goalie Spencer Laycock wanted back.

The Stars countered with a spectacular goal from Justin Waskewitch. He raced down the right side of the ice, and wired a slap-shot past the goaltender to give his team a two-goal lead back.

But from the mid-way point of the third period, the play was dominated by the Klippers. Taylor Duzan and Jordan Braid almost single-handedly won the game for the visitors. Duzan and Braid would score late in the third to tie it, and Duzan nearly won it for his team, but he dinged one off the goal post with just over a minute remaining in the game.

Overtime solved nothing, and a shootout was needed.

The first shooter for Kindersley was captain Jordan Braid. He skated in close, but was unable to get a shot away because Spencer Laycock poke-checked the puck away from him. Kindersley was 0-1.

The first shooter for the Battlefords was forward Ben Morgan. Morgan (a right handed shot), skated wide to the outside, cut back in and roofed a backhand shot over the stick of Josh Thorimbert. Many thought the puck hit the post, but it just managed to squeak underneath, it was 1-0 Stars.

Andrew Dommett was able to tie things up for Kindersley.

That set the table for Justin Waskewitch. Waskewitch used tremendous patience to out-wait Thorimbert, and snuck one into the net via the five-hole. The Stars led the shootout 2-1.

It was up to Taylor Duzan for Kindersley, and Spencer Laycock shut the door, and was able to solidify another preseason victory for the Battlefords North Stars.

The exhibition season was a tremendous success for the team as they finished with a record of 6-1. Now the tough part: The coaching staff for the North Stars has to decide on who stays and who goes.

Don’t miss the Battlefords North Stars first regular season game on Friday night, 7:00 from Kindersley. That game can be heard live on 1050 CJNB or

Saturday, September 12, 2009

88 Minutes and Counting Til Our First Broadcast

I've got the jitters.

Matt Ryan and I are present and accounted for, and Cody Nickolet will be here in a few minutes!

The first broadcast of our 09-10 season is upon us!

Click here to listen!

The Sasktel Pregame Show starts at 7:15, and the Northland Rentals presentation of Stars Hockey starts at 7:30.

Some game notes for you:

- No Lebreton, Daley, Peake, Graf or Watt for the North Stars.
- Kindersley is dressing a veteran lineup. Jordan Braid will play.
- Coleman Young will start, Laycock will take over in the Middle of the second period.

Another Piece Of the Puzzle

Kyle Birch is coming back. He was cut from the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL.

He'll be in the Battlefords tomorrow, and he'll be set to join the team in Kindersley for opening night.

This is tremendous news for the club. I just got a text message from Kyle, and he's pumped to be back! I won't publish what he sent me, but mark my words, he's very confident about the upcoming season.

Damn it feels good to be in North Star Nation right now.

More blogging later tonight, I promise.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Klippers/Stars Tomorrow.

Surely by now you are aware that the Battlefords North Stars are having a killer preseason. They have a 5-1 record, and have earned victories in their last four games. Tomorrow night will be the final opportunity for the "Bubble players" to make a lasting impression with coach Ken Pearson.

Odds are good that you will see newcomers Shay Neufeld, and Cody Folstad in the lineup. I'll post the lineup on the blog tomorrow as soon as it is ready.

The Kindersley Klippers are likely to dress a more veteran-savvy lineup tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to seeing these two teams go toe-to-toe with an even lineup. For those that haven't seen Klippers forward Jordan Braid play, he's certainly fun to watch.

The Klippers also recently got Braeden Adamyk back from the WHL, so he should certainly help their cause.

Again, the game-time is 7:30 at the Civic Center, and for those followers who are from out-of-town, you can catch the game on live radio (1050 CJNB) starting at 7:15 with the Sasktel Pregame Show. You can find the broadcast online at

Tomorrow night's game is all I can think about right now. I hope you are excited as I am.


Are you or your business interested in putting your company's logo on the North Star Nation blog?

This blog is getting nearly 200 hits a day from people all across North America and come the regular season, that number should only increase from there.

Do you want North Star Nation followers golfing at your course? Shopping at your store? Drinking at your bar?

If you're interested, e-mail me at and we can go from there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hildy does it again!

The Battlefords North Stars are 5-1 on the preseason. Tonight in Humboldt, the Stars weathered an early storm and earned a 3-0 victory.

Graham Hilldebrand is making one hell of an impression. He stopped all 19 shots he faced and looked calm throughout the entire contest.

After a scoreless first period, the visitors got going in the second period thanks to some powerplays.

Nathan Tomac and Jesse Lebreton scored mid-way through the second Stanza, and the Stars took full control from there.

Blake Peake scored a gorgeous goal in the third period to take a 3-0 lead.

Humboldt showed flashes of brilliance, but more often then not they were outworked.

Coleman Brodbin's second period tilt with Brendan Kotyk was another enjoyable sight to see.

The Stars will now welcome their two new teammates tomorrow and prepare for Kindersley on Saturday.

I hope you enjoyed the tweets tonight! Thanks for all of the positive feedback.

Stars Acquire Folstad and Neufeld

The Battlefords North Stars are en route to Humboldt as I type this, and I can tell you with certainty that the following trades have taken place:

The Stars trade: F-Alex Leclerc (89) and D-Dusty Iron to the Nipawin Hawks for D-Cody Folstad (90) and D- Jordan Swenson (93).


The Stars acquired F- Shay Neufeld feom the Camrose Codiaks for future considerations.

Folstad could join the team as early as tonight (but won't play) and Neufeld tomorrow. Swenson will play for the PA Mintos this year.

The coaching staff told me that it was a tough morning. Alex Leclerc was a key contributor to last year's team, and was a great teammate; but the team needed to bolster the blue line, and this gave them their best opportunity to do so.

I will be posting game updates tonight on Twitter. Follow a long at

CJNB's favourite Colorman Matt Ryan has made the trip this time too! Maybe he will bring the Stars that added spark!

A quick reminder:

Saturday's Preseason Game against Kindersley will be broadcast live on CJNB/CJNS and

Can you tell I'm stoked?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stars Continue to Roll in the Preseason

The Battlefords North Stars are 4-1 on the Preseason after an impressive 9-3 victory tonight in Kindersley.

The Star's got goals from:

Szucki (3), Daley, Tomac, Schwab, Morgan, Malek and Waskewitch.

Kindersley countered with goals from:

Hoffman, Barnes and Leedahl (not Brett).
The first 10 minutes were lousy for the Battlefords. At one point they were outshot 9-1 and Coleman Young was the only reason why the game was still scoreless.

The Stars drew first blood on the power-play when Ward Szucki scored from the slot. Ben Morgan scored on the very next shift, and before we knew it the visitors led 4-0.

The second yielded similar results. Tanner Schwab, Justin Waskewitch, Szucki and Brody Malek all scored. Coleman Young stopped all 12 shots he faced.

The most exciting moment of the third frame occured when Spencer Laycock got run over by Kindersley forward Taylor Wasden. Boyd Wakelin didn't take too kindly too the cheap shot and dropped the gloves with him. The fight was short and niether combatant was the clear winner, but Wakelin continues to impress a lot of folks with his fearless play.

After the game, coach Ken Pearson specifically mentioned Coleman Young, Josh Daley and Ward Szucki as his 3-Stars. Overall he was happy with the win, but didn't like fact that Kindersley outscored the Stars 2-1 in the final stanza.

Tomorrow the Stars are off to Humboldt. I will post game updates on twitter again. Thanks to those that followed a long tonight.

Time for some shut-eye. I'm up at 4:30 for work. Thanks for reading guys!


Stars Are Off to Kindersley

It's my first road-trip of the year, and it's off to a familiar place. Kindersley was a friendly place to the Stars last year and hopefully that trend continues.

I hope (for our sake) that the Klippers decide to dress an older lineup. To my knowledge this will be their second preseason game of the year.

Here is the lineup for the Stars tonight:

G - Coleman Young
G - Spencer Laycock

* Young will start, Laycock will come in halfway through the game.

D - Iron
D - Spiess
D - Malek
D - Baptiste
D - Lebreton
D - Brodbin

F - Tomac
F - Daley
F - Morgan
F - Tatchell
F - Peake
F - Graf
F - Wakelin
F - Watt
F - Szucki
F - Oak
F - Schwab
F - Waskewitch


D - Cameron
F - Wall (Flu)
F - Dunser (Ankle)
F - Toporowski
F - Leclerc
F - Andersen

I will be posting game updates via twitter tonight. Follow me at:


If anybody caught the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix last night, you would have heard a great interview with Stars Coach and GM Ken Pearson.

Here are some of the quotes:

DO: Are you satisfied with the veterans and how they have played compared to the younger players?

KP: Some of our older players need to be better. We have a lot of younger players that have played really well in recent days.

DO:Does this finally feel like "Your Team?"

KP: I think so. We still have to put some pieces into place, but Atch and I are happy with the kids we brought in over the summer, and we now feel like we can contend in this league.


Its nap time. I'll be hooking you up with a full recap later on tonight.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Napkin Lineup Possibilities.

I don't envy Ken Pearson one bit. He is going to have some incredibly tough decisions to make regarding the 09-10 North Stars.

A few months ago. I wrote about possible napkin lineup combos for the Club, and I thought tonight it would be fun to revisit the idea:

*Note: I am doing this without a roster at my disposal. If I forgot anybody it wasn't on purpose. Same with the ages. Sorry for any errors.*

Last year's veteran forwards and their ages:

Wall - 20
Peake - 20
Leclerc - 20
Watt - 20
Toporowski - 20
Graf - 19
Oak - 19
Andersen - 19

Last year's Veteran Defencemen:

Lebreton - 20
Brodbin - 20
Malek - 20

Last year's Goaltenders:

Hilldebrand - 18

Players still at WHL camps:

Lane - 20
Birch - 19
Klaussen - 18
Perrault - 18
Miller - 17

Rookie Forwards at Camp:

Daley - 19
Tatchell - 18
Scuzki - 18
Tomac - 18
Morgan - 18?
Dunser - 18?
Wakelin - 18
Schwab - 17
Waskewitch - 17

Rookie defenceman:

Speiss - 18
Iron - 18?
Baptiste - 17
Wourms - 17
Kizuik - 17?
Peeyachew - 17?
Cameron - 17?

Rookie Goaltenders:

Young - 18
Laycock - 17?

Let's assume that our WHL players all stick. I want you to leave your 25 player roster in the comment section.Let's hear your ideas!

Is your ideal team a tough one? Skilled? Finesse?

I'm glad I don't have to make the final decision.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stars Blank Hawks 3-0!

Welcome back Graham Hilldebrand!

24 Saves and a shutout.

Brodbin, Morgan and Dunser with the goals.

Brodbin, Andy, Wakelin and Schwab all fought and held their own.

I will post some coach thoughts over the next few days. Big thanks to Stars equiment manager Dale Jackson for filling me in. I was in Saskatoon tonight watching fireworks.

It's nice to be 3-1. Confidence has to start somewhere.

Enjoy your long weekends! Be safe, and keep reading!



Friday, September 4, 2009

Stars Cruise to Victory Against Nipawin..

Admittedly the Hawks did not dress their strongest lineup, but a win is a win. The North Stars downed the Hawks 10-2 tonight in front of 437 fans at the North Battleford Civic Center.

I've been following this team for three years now, and this is the first time that I've seen them score double digits in any game, be it preseason or otherwise.

The Stars received goals from:

Mitch Wall (2), Justin Waskewitch (2), Blake Tatchell (2), Josh Daley, Troy Watt, Ben Morgan and Dusty Iron.

Nipawin countered with goals from Eli Lichtenwald and Eric Ditto.

In the previous blog I threw out several thoughts heading into the game tonight. Lets see if the players answered the bell.

1) It's an important game for our defenceman. Spiess, Iron, and Brodbin are all likely to log big minutes tonight and I'm sure that Spiess and Iron in particular will be looking to be more consistent.

Dusty Iron scored a nice short-handed goal, and played solid. Spiess was consistent at both ends. Ken Pearson said afterwards that he expects Iron to be a little more assertive.

2) This list of forwards for tonight's game is impressive.However it means nothing unless these 12 play better at both ends of the ice. Guys like Morgan, Tatchell, Dunser, Wakelin and Waskewitch are going to be under to microscope tonight. Which ones will rise to the top?

Tatchell, Waskewitch and Morgan all chipped in with offence, and guys like Wakelin and Dunser made their presence felt elsewhere. Pearson was especially quick to compliment the play of Wakelin and Tatchell after the game.

3) If Kyle Birch's stay in Medicine Hat becomes permanent, you could very well expect to see Coleman Young or Spencer Laycock as a backup this year. Will Young seperate himself from Laycock tonight?

Coleman Young made 33 saves and remained solid throughout 60 minutes. Both Kenny and Atch encouraged Young, and it looks like he'll get another look before the (possible) return of Kyle Birch.

4) Will the vets lead by example? Against a younger Nipawin team, guys like Peake, Wall, Graf etc. Will no doubt get their chances. It will be key for these players to start gaining confidence sooner than later.

The vets did not dissapoint. Watt, Wall, and Peake all contributed offensively, and Graf and Oak made their presence known in different ways. None of the vets in tonight's lineup hurt their cause.

Can the Stars duplicate this effort tomorrow night when they head to Nipawin to play at the Cage? What did you think about the game tonight? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers to a Stars victory in a Friday night!

- Dano

Hawks vs. Stars TONIGHT!

Battlefords North Stars Roster vs Nipawin Sept. 4th

Battlefords North Stars

35 Spencer Laycock 91
02 Dusty Iron 91
03 Devon Spiess 91
04 Andrew Peeyachew 92
05 Myles Cameron 90
06 Tyler Kizuik 92
07 Boyd Wakelin 91
08 Josh Daley 90
09 Ben Morgan 91
10 Blake Tatchell 91
11 Blake Peake 89
12 Colton Graf 90
14 Mitch Wall 89
15 Troy Watt 89
16 Skyler Dunser 91
17 Tony Oak 90
19 Ward Szucki 91
21 Justin Waskewitch 92
24 Coleman Brodbin 89
29 Coleman Young 91

Big thanks to Coach Pearson for releasing his lineup to us.I've got a couple of thoughts about this lineup tonight:

1) It's an important game for our defenceman. Spiess, Iron, and Brodbin are all likely to log big minutes tonight and I'm sure that Spiess and Iron in particular will be looking to be more consistent.

2) This list of forwards for tonight's game is impressive.However it means nothing unless these 12 play better at both ends of the ice. Guys like Morgan, Tatchell, Dunser, Wakelin and Waskewitch are going to be under to microscope tonight. Which ones will rise to the top?

3) If Kyle Birch's stay in Medicine Hat becomes permanent, you could very well expect to see Coleman Young or Spencer Laycock as a backup this year. Will Young seperate himself from Laycock tonight?

4) Will the vets lead by example? Against a younger Nipawin team, guys like Peake, Wall, Graf etc. Will no doubt get their chances. It will be key for these players to start gaining confidence sooner than later.


The Flin Flon Bombers traded 19 year old forward Cole Wilson to the BCHL today. This was a total surprise. Wilson is a great talent and someone who I thought could have been a 70 point guy this year. I wonder why. He was dealt to Westside for future considerations. I will try get an answer soon.

See you at the rink tonight!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Broncos Double Stars 6-3

Tonight was a weird night.

The Stars and Broncos went toe-to-toe for the first 40 minutes of the game, and the third period was supposed to be another hard-fought, back and forth affair.

Only problem was:

One team got really lazy, and the other team took advantage.

The Humboldt Broncos won the game. But I think anybody at the game can testify that this didn't have the feel of a 6-3 game. It felt more like a 3-2 game with the more consistent team getting the job done. Thankfully this game didn't mean anything statistically, otherwise there may be a sour taste in a lot of mouths.

The Stars got their goals from Ward Szucki, Josh Daley and Jesse Lebreton. Daley could have very easily scored two more, and his linemate Ryan Andersen had two gorgeous opportunities but failed to capitalize.

Other Stars that stood out to me in a positive way were:

Kolten Baptiste, Ward Szucki, Dusty Iron, Ryan Andersen, Skyler Dunser and Boyd Wakelin.

Humboldt countered with goals from: Evan Kuhar (2), Kendrew Friesen, Troy Gasper, Spencer Baht (2).

When interviewed after the game, coach Ken Pearson said that some impressed him more than others.

"A game situation is a much different thing. Guys can look great at practice and in scrimmages, but now they've got to bring it during an actual game. Some did a better job than others here tonight."

Stars defenceman Brody Malek admitted after the game that everybody in the room is feeling a tinge of nervousness right now.

"You hit it right on the head Dan. Even me, as one of the vets - I know that I've got to be at my best right now because there is so much competition at this camp. We've got to be better defensively, and we've got to simplify things in our own end."

Josh Daley lived up to his North Star Nation poll hype, and seemed very confident after the game.

"After I scored that first goal, I felt a little more confident out there. Hopefully I can put a few more in the net tomorrow night."

Daley also spoke very fondly of his teammates and about the Battlefords early on. I truely think the Stars have a keeper in this guy, but that decision is not up to me, or any of the blog voters!

I'm talking to Ken tomorrow morning before practice, and I will have a lineup for tomorrow night's game against Nipawin.

Thanks for reading guys. Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Star's Lineup for Tomorrow Night...

Battlefords North Star's fans will get their first real glimpse of the veterans vying for spots on the 09-10 team tomorrow night at home against the Humboldt Broncos.

Coach Ken Pearson revealed the lineup to me today, and he gave me the okay to share it with you. The lineup combinations you see are for real, and you can bet that he'll be rotating these lines evenly throughout the game.


Tomac Tatchell Leclerc

Szucki Toporowski Wakelin

Schwab Morgan Dunser

Andersen Daley Waskewitch


Malek Wourms

Baptiste Brodbin

Iron Spiess



No word yet on what type of roster Humboldt will be fielding for tomorrow's contest. I know that there are lots of parents and out-of-towners that want me to keep them posted on the score. Do you want me to post updates on twitter?

I'm happy to do so if fans want to follow along that way. If five or more fans comment, I'll post game details on twitter for the game. Our first broadcast isn't until the 12th of September.

Quick Hit With the Coach....

I had a quick conversation with coach Pearson this morning prior to the 10:30 practice.

He confirmed that Graham Hilldebrand is indeed coming back, and should be in the Battlefords tomorrow.

In the meantime, goaltenders Coleman Young and Spencer Laycock are each going to get to play a full game this week. No word on who gets the call tomorrow night against Humboldt.

Here is a brief summary of our conversation:

DO:Is it safe to say that there is a real feeling of competition inside the room right now?

KP: Yeah, I really think that guys realize that up front we have a really good battle. Good depth. Now we just need to find the right combinations. When we do, I think we will be very explosive up front.

DO:Has anybody already started to seperate themselves from the rest?

KP: No.that's what these next three games are for.

Right now there are 30-odd players left at camp. The roster must be dwindled down to 25 before game one of the regular season.

Who stays, Who goes? I want to know your thoughts.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hildy Coming Back?

A big thanks to Kyle Kellgren at the Jackfish Lodge Golf and Conference Center for this tid-bit of information:

According to the Prince George Citizen newspaper, Graham Hilldebrand (91) was outright released by the Prince George Cougars.

Barring any setbacks Hildy should be pencilled in as one of our goalies and may even be back in time for Thursday's game at home vs. Humboldt. PG's loss is definitely our gain.

Dane Muench signs with Swift....

From Jon Keen's blog:

Swift Current Broncos General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb announced that the club has signed Dane Muench and Graeme Craig to WHL contracts.

Muench, 17 years old, is from Martensville Saskatchewan and played last season with the SJHL’s Battlefords Stars. Last season as a 16 year old rookie, he led the team in scoring with 20 goals and 34 points in 50 games. Muench was drafted by the Broncos in the 4th round 74th over-all in the 2007 Bantam draft.

Craig, from Red Deer, is 16 years old and played for the Red Deer Chiefs in Midget last season. He is a big defenseman at 6’4” and 215 pounds with some gifted offensive upside, tallying 26 points in 39 games last year. The Broncos selected Craig in the 2008 Bantam Draft, 64th over-all.

Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb is pleased to get these players signed.

“Both Dane and Graeme are very good players that will contribute in their own ways. Dane is a skilled, shifty, smart forward and Graeme is a big, solid, strong defenseman. We feel we have added some important components to our team up front and on the back end.”


Congrats to Dane. Even though the Stars lose his services, Dane deserves nothing but our appreciciation and support. I officially just became a fan of Swift Current.