Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Battlefords North Stars in an 11-1 defeat Saturday in Humboldt. Justin Buzzeo had five assists, Riley Gillies had a hat-trick and the Stars surrendered two short-handed goals against.
34 seconds into the game, the Broncos got on the board when Jeremy Boyer knocked home a rebound off a point-shot by Josh Roach. Boyer's goal was definitely a sign of things to come. Riley Gillies soon scored his first of three, and Spencer Braaten and Troy Gasper tallied to give Humboldt a 4-0 lead after one,
The onslaught continued in the second period. Riley Gillies scored short-handed just 16 seconds into the second. Nick Keller added two, and Jeremy Boyer and Taylor johnson added two more. The only North Star goal came courtesy of Keith Grondin.
In the third period Ward Szucki scored short-handed, and Riley Gillies finished his hat-trick with an even-strength marker.
The Stars were outshot 47-30 with Kyle Birch in net for all 11 goals against.
It was a tough night for Birch who would certainly want a few goals back, but didn't get a ton of help at either end of the ice from his team. To his credit, he battled hard and made some tough looking saves.
Early in the third period, Neil Landry snow-sprayed Birch as he was chasing after a loose puck. That snow-spray caused a melee beside the Stars goal. Tony Oak, Cris Neurauter and Cody Folstad were all booted from the game a long with Neil Landry, Brett Pinder and Adam Zbitniff. During the post-game show, Ken Pearson hinted that suspensions could be on the way due to Tony Oak 'instigating' the rough-stuff.
Ken Pearson was rather subdued during the post-game show. He mentioned that he saw some good things in spurts from a few guys, but his overall message was that there weren't enough players on the bench ready to compete.
The next few days of practice could be interesting as the Stars prepare for a re-match with the La Ronge Ice Wolves. The Wolves and Stars meet Wednesday night at the Civic Center at 7:30.