Monday, November 8, 2010

Stars - Bruins Preview.

Tomorrow the North Stars embark on a two-game road swing to Estevan and Weyburn. This trip will be a real test for the Battlefords North Stars and could be very telling as to what this team is truly capable of. They've won two straight, but they are facing two southern teams that are playing very well in their own right. Here is a preview for tomorrow night's game:



Overview:

Kerry Biette's Estevan Bruins are playing some of their best hockey of the season. They've won five in a row and are coming off a 9-4 victory on home ice against Humboldt. The Bruins are only three points behind Yorkton for first place in the Sherwood Conference but have played four less games.

Who's Up Front:

Ryan Andersen is on a roll. The 20-year-old product of Wainright, Alberta has 16 goals through 18 games and leads Estevan with 26 points. This should be no surprise for Star's fans who are no stranger to Andersen's abilities. You know that Andersen is going to be fired up to face his former team, and I'd expect another strong outing from him tomorrow night.

Who's on D:

Kerry Biette is "tickled pink" with his core of defenders. Tonight on the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix he called this group the best core of defense that he's ever coached. Can you blame him? Joel Kot, Dominic Perrault, Ty Arris, Brent Rock, Tyler Spencer and Lucas Stubel give coach Kerry Biette a really strong mix. Add the likes of Taylor Bramwell and Eric Baldwin and Kerry Biette has no shortage of defensive options. Joel Kot is the offensive leader with 13 points in 13 games.

Who's in Goal:

Joel Danyluk has been a steady stalwart for Kerry Biette's club this year. Danyluk is 9-4-1 with a goals against average of 3.24 and a save percentage of .912. The last time Danyluk faced the North Stars he was tremendous, making 50 saves on 54 shots faced. Biette may opt to play Shea Cooper who is 2-2 with a save percentage of .892.

X-Factor:

The trio of Josh Jelinski, Ben Findlay and Justin Waskewitch will be three players to watch tomorrow night. According to Biette, these three have been playing well in recent games but just haven't been rewarded enough for their efforts. A strong outing from these three could go along way to help Estevan beat the Stars for the second straight time.



Overview:

The Battlefords North Stars are coming off two straight victories. They beat Nipawin 7-1 on Saturday and Melfort 5-2 on Sunday. Offensively the Stars have been getting production from all four lines and defensively they have been MUCH better. They'll need to keep those trends going if they want to find success this week.

Who's Up Front:

Blake Tatchell, Keith Grondin and Colin Phaneuf share the team lead in goals with 10 a piece. These three have so much chemistry and I'm excited to see what they'll be capable of tomorrow on a smaller ice-surface in Estevan. Quick puck movement and lots of shots will be key for this line. I'm sure they are up to the task.

Who's on D:

With six points in his last three games, Brody Luhning is my choice for SJHL Defenceman of the Week. Whether the league agrees has yet to be determined. Regardless, Luhning seems to be playing with a lot of confidence, and the pairing him with Travis Sparrow seems to have helped make Luhning and Sparrow for that matter more comfortable on the ice.

Who's in Goal:

What do you do if you're Ken Pearson? Do you play Kyle Birch and see if he can bounce back after a terrible game in Estevan in October? Do you start Alex Sirard so that he can face his former team? Or do you start Graham Hildebrand because it's his turn?

X-Factor:

Samuel Fortier and Samuel Houle look like they are starting to get comfortable in the SJHL. Fortier had a six-point weekend, and Houle seems to be playing with a lot of confidence beside Woody Klassen. These two are known for their physicality and their grit and will have to bring a ton of that to the table tomorrow night on the smaller ice surface. Time and space is limited on the Estevan ice-surface, and if the Stars can win the physical battle they may very well win the game and their third straight game.


Don't miss the broadcast tomorrow night. It goes on CJNB/CJNS and cjnb.com starting at 7:15.


As always, your thoughts and predictions are welcome.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a very different looking team than when they last played in Estevan and Weyburn. I was there for both those games in mid-October. After witnessing the game on Sunday, I would expect that the Stars will play with a lot more confidence when they enter the Civic Auditorium this time around. I would stack the Stars 'D' against Estevan's and Weyburn's any day. They are strong and gaining in consistency. Within a few more games, they should be able to play with instinct, knowing where their partner is and what to expect from them. Go get 'em Stars!

Anonymous said...

The 3 ring circus surrounding the goaltending is ridiculous, how can any one of these guys play with any amount of confidence when they are rotated in and out.

Miss said...

Chill people. Battlefords is not the only team with 3 goalies. The coach still has a few days left before rosters have to be cut down. I am just happy to see them all playing with confidence. Now when the time comes for us to deal one of them, we might actually get something in return for them.

Stars123 said...

Miss is absolutely correct. To be honest its a good problem to be in. Having 3 quality goaltenders is something most teams would drool over. The coaching staff will decide which goalie fits best into the scheme of things. I would imagine he would make the decision by dec.1 cut down date. All 3 goalies have major junior Experience and Hildebrand was the top goalie in Saskatchewan AAA Birch was the top goalie in Manitobia AAA and Sirard was named a second team all star at the Macs Tournament. So 3 good goalies with good resumes. 2 are 19 and 1 is 20. Who do you keep?

Anonymous said...

thr 2 who are 19?

Anonymous said...

Hildy and Sirard...

Anonymous said...

Then Birch has more chance to be trade because of his age?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I would like to see 2 of them traded and bring in a real number one goalie if there is one out there. Keep Hildy and let the others go.
Goaltending has been our achilles heel despite what the coach might say on the radio about team defense to take the heat off the goalies, the fans see it, the stars need to improve at the goaltending position.

Anonymous said...

I am just watching and listening to the livesports video on the sjhl website and I have to say that without a doubt Dan you are definately the most exciting broadcaster on the radio!! I have listened to a few radio broadcasts from other teams and no one holds a candle to you! Keep up the great work

Anonymous said...

Birchy won't be traded, I can almost guarantee everyone that. Just listen to Ken (and even DanO) talk about the kid. After Birch looses a game 11-0, Ken talks about how the team let Birch down. But when Hildy looses by 1, Ken comes right out and says Hildy didn't play good. There's no way Ken will trade Birch, I think Hildy will be the one to go, since Ken can probably get someone better for Hildy than Sirard.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, Hildy was unreal tonight, sounded like some lucky bounces by the bruins and Folstad getting beat wide and Sparrow the same, resulting in goals.
Not saying Hildy shouldnt have stopped them.
For Ken to say he should have 3 of them back is kind of sour grapes.
Yeah Birch gets beat 11-1 and Ken says he played a great game.
And ya, Dan seems to have some man love for Birch. lol.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to listing to the interview after the game and how the coach praised certain lines.
Top line minus 2 but still remains to get ice time and pp time, Cech's line minus 3 and praised on their efforts. While the 4th line sits on the bench but manages to get out for 1 second maybe and expected to do something.

Anonymous said...

estevans top line combined for all 6 goals and 13 points.

way to pick up on that ken.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Andersen scores a jaw dropper to get the win and the hat trick -amazing year so far!

Anonymous said...

And the blame game continues, I wish people would realize that they WIN as a TEAM and they LOSE as a TEAM!!!