Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So Long Appendix.

Good morning,

The pain in my stomach is gone. Cooincidently, so is my appendix. It was removed last night at approxomitely 8:30 PM.

This morning I have been walking, eating, drinking and passing gas (Too much info?). I'm supposed to have another blood-test today, and if that goes well I could be out of here by this afternoon and home in time for my Hockey Draft.

I apologize for the lack of updates, but I'm sure this is a justifyable reason.

As of right now, it doesn't look like I'll be on the air in Kindersley on Saturday. Station management made this decision this morning. I'm hoping to re-visit the option tomorrow, but it may be a good idea to lay low for a few days and get rested and healed. I'll keep you posted.

There's still lots to say, and I will get around to saying it. But right now I'm off to seek some more O.J.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tough Start to the Week.

Good evening,

I admit that I've seen better days. My cold has taken a turn for the worse, and in addition my stomach has decided that it doesn't want to cooperate either. I noticed a slight stomach-ache early yesterday morning. Fast forward to the middle of the night and the discomfort had only increased. I went to get check out, and apparently I've got indigestion. This isn't the first time I've encountered this. The last time was during a road-trip in Weyburn during the 08-09 North Star's season.

They gave me a shot of buscopan which essentially puffs up the stomach and loosens everything up. The pain has lessened some, but it feels like I've swallowed a pillow.

I was able to get through my morning run of sports, but went home shortly thereafter and slept until about 5:00 tonight. Tonight's Sports Fix will be a Best Of Edition featuring past interviews with CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon, Former Winnipeg Jets forward Scott Arniel (now coaching in Columbus) and former North Star defenceman (now Stanley Cup Champion) Jordan Hendry.

You can also look forward to a new installment of the SJHL This Week Radio show which should be on the league's website tomorrow. I've just got to add some finishing touches later this evening, once I'm feeling a little better.

I've got a lot to say and a lot to respond to with regards to the North Stars, and I assure you that I'll get to that sooner than later. There's been a lot of debate and a lot of opinion shared on the blog, and I want to address some of these thoughts as soon as possible. For now, I'm off to get rested. Enjoy the start of your work and school week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 25 Photos.

*All Photos Taken By Julie Larson



Shayne Morrissey Jostles for Positioning.



Zach MacLellan Ties the Game at One. (The Puck is In the Net)



Josh Daley Going for a Skate.



Good Start To the Season for Colin Phaneuf.

Stars Earn a Point, But Fall Short at Home.

Better effort, same result for the Battlefords North Stars. Saturday night at the Civic Center, the Stars dropped a 4-3 game in a shootout to Melfort and remain winless on the season. Regan Nabseth had three points for Melfort and goaltender Charles Corsi was rock-solid when he had to be, especially in the shootout.

Special teams played a big role in the game. The Stars scored all three of their goals on the powerplay. The goals scored by Woody Klassen, Zach MacLellan and Blake Tatchell. Two of Melfort's three goals were also scored on the man-advantage.

Melfort's Jesse Mireau opened the scoring at 3:43 on the power-play. Regan Nabseth and Brody Haygarth recorded assists.

Zach MacLellan tied the score at 8:51 after he finished off a three-on-two. MacLellan added two assists to his evening later on.

Blake Tatchell continued his solid start with a goal at 18:02 (on the power-play). He tipped home a Woody Klassen point-shot to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.

Brody Haygarth tied it at 4:44 of the second period. Regan Nabseth tallied his second assist of the game in the process.

Back came the Stars on another power-play. This time it was Woody Klassen one-timing one home from the right-point. 3-2 Stars heading into the final period.

The Mustangs tied the game at 7:10 of the third period. Regan Nabseth skated into the slot and roofed a back-hand over the glove of Alex Sirard.

The Stars took some late penalties but were able to kill them off, and for the second time so far this season, overtime was needed.

Overtime solved nothing, and a shootout was required.

Brett Miller, Colin Phaneuf and Blake Tatchell were all denied by Melfort netminder Charles Corsi.

Cole Gibson and Justin Bardarson were stopped by Alex Sirard, but Brody Haygarth shovelled one through the legs on the third shot, and Melfort escaped the Civic Center with the victory.

An impressive weekend for the Mustangs who grabbed all four points up from grabs this weekend while the Stars managed one.

Up next for the Stars: The Weyburn Red Wings, Friday night at 7:30 from the Civic Center.

Goaltender Alex Sirard played well, even in defeat. But he didn't get any offensive help in the shootout, and Brody Haygarths goal in the third round prooved to be the winner.

Up next for the Stars - A home battle with the Weyburn Red Wings on Friday night.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stars Lose in A Shoot-Out.

Better effort - Same result. The Stars lose 4-3 to the Melfort Mustangs.

Complete Details coming in the morning.

Stars - Mustangs Preview (Again)

The Battlefords North Stars welcome the Melfort Mustangs (2-2) to the Civic Center tonight. It's only game four of the year, but already a sense of urgency is present in North Star Nation. The Stars were considered by many to be a favourite in the Bauer Conference, and while they still belong in that category, their start has more than a few people asking questions.

A win tonight would go along way in silencing some of the early doubters.



Record: 2-2

Who's Up Fromt:

The Melfort Mustangs have a solid group of forwards. Their depth was on display last night as all four lines were able to gain pressure and move the puck inside the North Star's zone. A breakout player last night was 20-year-old forward Justin Bardarson. Bardarson scored the first two goals of the game for Melfort, and was a threat almost everytime he was on the ice. Another strong game from Bardarson could go along way in helping Melfort sweep the home-and-home series.

Who's on D:

Mitch Berg has all of the tools to be an all-star defenceman in the SJHL. His performance last night was stellar. He's big, smart and has an offensive upside to his game. Berg assisted in Bardarson's second goal of the game, and logged a lot of minutes. We'll see how his play translates to the road.


Who's in Goal:


After a sub-par first period, Charles Corsi really settled down for Melfort. He made the saves he had to make, and he had good rebound control. Does Corsi's performance garner another start tonight? I guess we'll see.

X-Factor:

Brody Haygarth showed again last night that he's a kid capable of carrying a team on his back. He scored the winning goal, played the point on the power-play and showed a lot of guts. The Stars will need to keep Haygarth in check if they want to grab their first victory.



Record: 0-2-1-0

Who's Up Front:

The trio of Blake Tatchell, Colin Phaneuf, and Brett Miller accounted for two-thirds of the team's offense last night. These three are as steady as it gets, and I look for them to carry that momentum forward into tonight's game.

Who's on D:

Woody Klassen scored his first goal of the year last night, and played a strong game even in defeat. I felt that Dakota Johnson played steady as well, and Jacob Chiblow had his moments. The problem here is that nobody on the Star's blueline has really elevated their play from last year. One of the vets on the blue-line is going to have to make an impression tonight with a big hit, a blocked shot, or a fight. Something to rally the team.

Who's in Goal:

Ken Pearson made it no secret that he wasn't pleased with Kyle Birch's play last night. So with that in mind, Alex Sirard gets his second start in a North Star's uniform.

X-Factor:

The North Star's need some more offensive production from their forwards. The Miller/Tatchell/Phaneuf can only carry this team for so long. Shayne Morrissey has shown spurts, and Tim Rollins had a great chance last night. But it hasn't been good enough. Josh Daley, Nathan Tomac, Tanner Schwab, and Calder Neufeld need to pick it up a notch and start contributing more offensively. If the Stars can get some more steady production from their forwards they'll have a great shot at their first victory of the season.


Your thoughts?

Stars Remain Winless.

Friday night in Melfort, the Battlefords North Stars dropped their third game in a row, a 6-3 decision to the Melfort Mustangs. At one point in the first period, the Stars led 3-1, but were unable to hold on.

According to the SJHL website, Colin Phaneuf opened the scoring for the Stars at the 44 second mark of the first period. Blake Tatchell took the initial shot from the high-slot, and Phaneuf finished it off.

The Mustangs tied it at 7:59 when Justin Bardarson scored his first of two on the night. Cole Gibson took a shot from the right point that was tipped by Stef Harrington. Kyle Birch made the initial save, but Bardarson banged home the rebound on a back-hand.

At 11:09 of the first period, the Stars grabbed their lead back. Woody Klassen scored his first of the year, on a power-play. The play got started when Shayne Morrissey made a nice play in the corner to free up space for Klassen. Phaneuf grabbed his second of the game at 17:09 of the first, and the Stars appeared to be in control.

At 17:38 Mitch Berg made a nifty pass through the defence, and right onto the stick of Bardarson who made no mistake from in close. His second goal of the game made it 3-2, and Cole Gibson tallied at 19:06 to make it a 3-3 game.

Early in the second, the Mustangs took the lead for good when Brody Haygarth took a wrist-shot through a crowd of bodies from the top of the far circle. Birch got a piece, but not enough of the puck, and it squeezed by him and behind the line.

For the duration of the second period, Melfort played sound defensively. The Stars had trouble creating offense, and they had an even tougher time in their own zone.

Regan Nabseth scored twice in the third period (once on the power-play) and those goals utlimately sealed the deal for the Stars who fell to 0-2-1-0 with the loss. The Mustangs improved to 2-2 with the victory.

In the end, the Stars were outshot 44 - 33 and finished the night one-for-three on the power-play. The Mustangs made good on just one of eight power-play opportunities.

After the game, coach Ken Pearson hinted that full-scale changes would be made to the Stars lineup before Saturday's game.

The Stars take the ice tonight at home. Game time is 7:30 against the same Melfort Mustangs.

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I'll preview tonight's matchup later this afternoon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stars Drop a 6-3 Game in Melfort.

Complete details to come tomorrow morning.

Don't forget the Stars host Melfort tomorrow night at the Civic Center at 7:30.

Stars - Mustangs Preview.

A playoff rivalry is rekindled this weekend when the Battlefords North Stars hit the road to face the Melfort Mustangs. Here's a preview for tonight's matchup:



Record: 1-2

Who's Up Front:

The Melfort Mustangs boast a lot of offensive depth. Leading that charge is 20-year-old forward Brody Haygarth. Haygarth was acquired from Flin Flon during the off-season as part of the future considerations for Deven Stillar. Haygarth has not dissapointed in the early-going. He's got four points in three games and shares the team lead in scoring with Regan Nabseth and Cole Gibson. Look for Haygarth to log a lot of ice-time, especially on the powerplay.

Who's on D:

Lee Christensen (91) is one of the steadiest most dependable defenceman in the SJHL. He's gifted offensively, but is even more reliable in his own end. The Star's top line can expect to see a lot of him tonight.

Who's in Goal:

Darrell Mann recently acquired 20-year-old netminder Charles Corsi who wasted no time in making a solid impression. Corsi surrendered just two goals in 40-minutes of play, and was the winning goalie in Melfort's victory over Yorkton. Mann also has Colin Fernandes, Jay Hudon and Jesse Ehnisz listed on his roster. At this point I don't have any confirmation on who gets the start.

X-Factor:

Tonight's X-Factor is forward Cole Gibson. Gibson was the most consistent forward against the Stars during last season's Bauer Conference Semi-Final, and I look for him to continue that trend tonight. Gibson is one of those kids who can completely fly under the radar, but at the end of the night he'll have three or four points. A strong game from Gibson could go a long way for the home team.



Record: 0-1-1-0

Who's Up Front:

Blake Tatchell has picked right up where he left off last season. In two games, Tatchell has tallied four points, and is showing a lot of confidence playing alongside Brett Miller and Colin Phaneuf. Keeping Tatchell off the score-sheet will be objective number one for Melfort tonight.

Who's on D:

Rookie Zach MacLellan scored his first SJHL goal during Tuesday's loss to Humboldt. The 18-year-old is a great skater, and has shown some chemistry alongside Woody Klassen. I look for these two to see a lot of action against Haygarth and company.

Who's in Goal:

With two games in two nights, I'd say it's likely that we see both Kyle Birch and Alex Sirard at some point this weekend. As for the order? I have not the slightest clue. Also, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if we saw one goalie play both nights. How's that for a nice, vague answer?

X-Factor:

Once again it's the Penalty-Kill. If the Stars can successfully start killing off some penalties they'll get their first win. So far through two games, the Stars have only managed to kill off six of 11 penalties. That statistic is obviously too low.

You can catch the game tonight on 1050 CJNB/102.3 FM CJNS or www.cjnb.com.

Stars To Add Two Players from Swift Current Broncos.

I just got off the phone with coach Pearson.

Brody Luhning (D - 1992) and Robbie Newton (F-1993) will both be joining the Battlefords North Stars by Monday.Both were recently cut by the Swift Current Broncos.

Luhning dressed in 30 games for the Swift Current Broncos last season. He's 6'1 and 162lbs.

According to his Midget AAA profile, Newton stands 6'2 and checks in at 190 lbs. He had 36 points in 43 regular season games last year with the Saskatoon Contacts.

I will have my Mustangs - Stars preview posted to the blog this afternoon before 2:00.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Week Takes.

The North  Battleford Civic Center was a quiet place last night. After so much excitement and optimism early, it's understandable why things would be so quiet. For what it's worth to the fans - The Star's locker-room was eerily quiet afterward as well. These players know what went wrong, and I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into these 7-6 type of scores. If a team is going to blow some big leads and lose a 7-6 game, I'd way rather see it at the start of the year and not when it really counts.

It truely was a tail of Jeckyl and Hyde for the Stars. For the first 20-30 minutes, they were awesome. They did everything that a coach and fan would expect: They finished checks, they crashed the net, and they were the hungrier team. When they got away from those things, Humboldt took advantage.

Special-teams cost the Star's big-time. Had the Stars capitalized on even one of their 10 power-plays, they win last night.

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A loss like this can do one of two things to a team.

It can demoralize a team early, and linger. Or a result like this can help unite a team together. After the game, coach Pearson said that his veterans need to be better, and they need to lead by example. No doubt the Stars are in for a tough practice today, but if the veterans show up, grit their teeth and embrace it - The youth of the team will follow.

The Stars are a still a team without a captain. Maybe now is the time where one of the vets takes the team on his back and shows that they're worthy of the 'C.'

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Hats off to the Humboldt Broncos. It takes a real gutsy effort to pull off what they did last night. Sure they're hosting the R.B.C. in 2012, but the more I watch Humboldt this year, the more I get a sense that they're going to be 'right there' this year as well.

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Up next for the Stars: A home-and-home with the Melfort Mustangs. The 'Stangs are another team that is still seeking their first victory. Melfort hosts Yorkton tonight before hosting the Stars on Friday. The game will be on the radio, and you will have the opportunity to follow along that night.

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Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), announced on Tuesday the 41 players that will attend the Canada West evaluation camp in preparation for the 2010 World Junior A Challenge. Of the 41 players, eight are from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. They are:
           
Clarke Breitkreuz (F) Yorkton Terriers –Springside
     
Trevor Cameron (F) Notre Dame Hounds-Mission, BC
     
Lee Christensen (D) Melfort Mustangs- Winnipeg,MB
      
Sean Flanagan (D) Kindersley Klippers-Kindersley, SK
 
Drew George (F) Weyburn Red Wings-Regina, SK
      
Jesse Mychan (F) Flin Flon Bombers-Saskatoon, SK
     
Jordan Paddock (D) Melville Millionaires –Regina, SK
 
Dylan Smith (F) Estevan Bruins –Big River, SK

Congratulations to all eight of these athletes, and here's hoping we have an SJ-heavy team representing Canada West in Penticton.

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If you haven't already, check out the new edition of the SJHL This Week Radio Show on the SJHL website. Martin Smith and I are filming part of the SJ This Week later today. Thursday's edition of the program is going to be hosted in part by Martin Smith and I, followed by Mike Stackhouse and his broadcast team.

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That's about it from me this morning. I've really enjoyed the increase in comments and reader participation, so keep it coming!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Broncos - North Stars Photos (September 21)

*All Photos By: Julie Larson*



Welcome Back Kyle Birch.



Blake Tatchell Scores A Beauty!



Tony Oak Scored His First of the Year Tonight.



The Stars Celebrate Colin Phaneuf's Goal.



Cody Folstad Also Scored His First Tonight.


As always, your feedback and comments are welcome. If you have a photo request, you can contact Julie at julie_larson@hotmail.com

Broncos Stun the Stars.

Tuesday night at the North Battleford Civic Center, the Battlefords North Stars let a number of three-goal leads slip away, and the end result was a 7-6 defeat in overtime.

Nick Keller scored the O.T. winner at 3:38 off a defensive-zone miscue. Keller walked in, and went back-hand deke on Kyle Birch to seal the victory. Earlier in overtime the Stars had time on a power-play but could not bury.

The Broncos finished three for eight on the man-advantage while the Stars went scoreless on 10 tries.

The Stars took a 3-0 lead early. Tony Oak (34 seconds), Colin Phaneuf (52 seconds) and Blake Tatchell (3:31) all scored and the Stars were in early control.

Humboldt's Riley Gillies got them on the board on a power-play at 13:32, but just over a minute later Zach MacLellan scored his first in the SJHL to make it 4-1 for the home team.

Early in the second period, Matt Glowa scored on a power-play to make it 4-2, but 29 seconds later Cody Folstad made it 5-2 for the North Stars. Nathan Tomac notched his first of the season, and mid-way through the game the Stars appeared to be in control.

But the floodgates opened. Justin Buzzeo, Matt Glowa and Riley Gillies scored late in the second, and after 40 minutes the score was 6-5 for the Battlefords,

Chase Wharton scored 13 seconds into the third to tie the score at 6, and that's how it would stay until overtime.

The third period went back-and-forth with both teams getting some quality chances. Each team also hit at least two goal-posts.

After the game, North Star's coach Ken Pearson said that his team didn't want to commit to a 60-minute effort, and that they were going to find out what a 60-minute effort was at practice the next day. He also highlighted special-teams as one of the main reasons why they fell short.

Though the Stars didn't win, they did manage a point out of the deal. They're record now sits at 0-1-1-0.

Up next for the North Stars: A home-and-home with the Melfort Mustangs. The first game goes Friday night at the palace in Melfort. You can catch the broadcast live on CJNB/CJNS starting at 7:15 with the Sask-Tel Pregame Show.

Stars - Broncos Preview.



Record: 2-0

Who's Up Front:

Newcomer Matt Glowa had a strong weekend for the Broncos. He chipped in two goals and added an assist during the two-game weekend set against the Notre Dame Hounds. Glowa leads the Broncos with three points, and is seeing some ice-time with both Spencer Braaten and Justin Buzzeo. If these three can break-free - The Stars could be in for a tough night defensively.

Who's on D:

Humboldt's blue-line is young but it's effective. Case and point: Tanner Clark. Clark returned from Swift Current (WHL Camp) and was promptly named SJHL Defenceman of the Week. He didn't register on the score-sheet, but showed a ton of poise for a 17-year-old. If Dean Brockman has his way, Clark will be an integral part of not only this season's success but also for next year's run to the Royal Bank Cup which Humboldt is hosting.

Who's in Goal:

Bronco's play-by-play man Darryl Skender told me on the Sports Fix last night that Andrew Bodnarchuk will get the start. The Stars have had their struggles against Bodnarchuk in recent years, and for good reason. Bodnarchuk is the reigning SJHL M.V.P and already has posted a GAA of .931. Granted it's only one-game and the North Star's offense should pose a tough challenge.

X-Factor:

Nick Keller is one of those players who can sometimes float completely under the radar, and yet at the end of the night he'll have recorded three points. Keller is quick, grity and has more offensive skill than most give him credit for. He's got championship experience, and often seems to be at his best when he faces the Battlefords North Stars. If Keller and company can provide the Broncos with some secondary scoring, they'll have a great shot at starting this season 3-0.





Record: 0-1

Who's Up Front:

Last year the Stars scored the most goals in the SJHL and they did so with tremendous depth. That depth looks to be just as strong, if not stronger this year. Six different goal-scorers lit the lamp for the Stars on Saturday and they'll be looking for something similar tonight. The kid line of Tim Rollins, Tanner Schwab and Shayne Morrissey looked strong against Kindersley, and could be destined for a similar type of game. No doubt a lot of defensive attention will be paid to the likes of Blake Tatchell, Brett Miller, Josh Daley etc. Perhaps it's possible that these three slip under the radar and crack the score-sheet.


Who's on D:

Defenceman Woody Klassen quietly put together a three-point night for the Stars on Saturday. Klassen scored 11 goals last year, and is the definite favourite to lead the North Star's blue-line in scoring this season. Klassen skated alongside Zach MacLellan Saturday, and those two showed some good defensive chemistry early on.

Who's in Goal:


Kyle Birch will get his first start of the season. Birch would have played Saturday but was serving the final game of a three-game suspension that he received during the pre-season. Birch loves to play Humboldt, and seems to rise-up against the Broncos. Remember back in 2009-2010 when Kyle Birch nearly beat the Broncos in the playoffs? He should have no trouble finding motivation for tonight's contest.


X-Factor:

The penalty-kill. If the Stars want to find the win column their penalty-kill needs to improve. They need to bear-down, simplify and take away the shooting lanes for some of Humboldt's snipers. Penalties are inevitable, but the Stars penalty-killers need to help their goaltender and make plays when their short-handed. A strong penalty-kill will go a long way in solidifying their first win of the season.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Morning

Week one of the SJHL season is done, and there is lots to talk about heading into this week. The Battlefords North Stars are 0-1 and look to grab their first victory of the season when they host the Humboldt Broncos tomorrow night at the Civic Center.

Over 1100 fans were on hand Saturday to watch the North Stars battle the Klippers. Say what you will about the result, the bottom line was that the game was entertaining. The Klippers and Stars never seem to leave the fans disappointed. Some say that the rivalry has gone down-hill in recent years - I disagree.

During our post-game chat on Saturday, Ken Pearson highlighted lots of positives. Naturally he was pleased with the team's offensive outburst, and had a few things gone differently the Stars could very well be 1-0.

The coach said that the penalty-kill was partially to blame. The Klippers finished two-for-three on the power play and coach Pearson said afterward that more of his players needed to be willing to 'gut it out.'

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Sticking with the Klippers for just a moment. Word is that yesterday's game in La Ronge was quite a gong-show. Josh Lewis reported early this morning that Andrew Dommett was injured late in the first period of yesterday's game. According to the Klipper Report blog, the Kindersley captain received a hit to the head from Wolves' forward Justin Ducharme and broke his jaw in the process. The quote from Lewis reads like this:

"He took a brutal hit to the head from Justin Ducharme in front of the Ice Wolves net late in the first period. He has a broken jaw and maybe more, I'm not sure, but he'll be out for a while."

I've never met Dommett personally, but from all accounts I've heard that he is an outstanding ambassador for the town of Kindersley. His injury not only hurts the Kindersley Klippers but it also hurts the league as a whole. I'm well aware that Andrew Dommett has done nothing but TORCH the North Stars in recent years, but beyond any personal rivalries - It hurts losing one of the league's premier goal scorers for a significant chunk of time.

I would personally like to wish Dommett all of the best in his recovery, and I look forward to seeing him back in action hopefully sooner than later.
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I'm looking forward to tonight's Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix. So far I have two confirmed guests. Guest one will be Battlefords North Star's defenceman Woody Klassen. Klassen tallied three assists in the Star's home opener, and seems poised to have a break-out year on the Star's blueline. We'll talk with Klassen about the upcoming season, and what he expects from the Humboldt Broncos tomorrow night.

Guest two will be the play-by play voice of the Humboldt Broncos and Saskatchewan Huskies football team, Darryl Skender. Skender and I will tee up tomorrow night's matchup and as well we'll shed some light on the Huskies and their 1-2 start to the season.

We'll also debate Ken Miller's decision and provide a fresh take on the Rider's 43-37 victory over Calgary.

Don't miss the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix, tonight at 8 on CJNB/CJNS.

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Estevan, La Ronge, Flin Flon and Humboldt are all 2-0 to star the season. Of thoes four, which do you consider the biggest surprise? What about Notre Dame, Melfort and Melville all losing their first two?

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Last week you may have noticed a new feature on the SJHL website called the SJHL This Week Radio Show. Its a new feature this year that I'll be hosting in conjunction with the SJHL This Week TV Show on Access 7. Martin Smith and I will be hosting the TV program for a third year running, The goal is to have a new Radio Show posted every Tuesday - It will feature audio from around the league, Players of the Week and an update on the SJHL Power Rankings (when applicable).

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As always your comments and feedback are appreciated. I've been so impressed by the quality and quantity of the comments as of late! Enjoy the start of a new week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stars Drop a 7-6 Decision to Kindersley.

Kindersley Klipper's forward Andrew Dommet wasted no time in making an impression on the 2010-2011 season.

The Kindersley captain scored the game-winner with 27 seconds left, and added two more points in a 7-6 Kindersley victory over the Battlefords North Stars.

The Stars opened the scoring at 16:52 of the first period when Colin Phaneuf scored on a wacky wrap-around that appeared to go off the stick of Kindersley forward John Calkins.

Shortly thereafter the Klippers made it 2-1 thanks to two quick goals from defenceman Kurt Leedahl.

Early in the second, the Stars were given a five-on-three man-advantage and newcomer Cade Kimery made no mistake. He walked in from the left point and roofed a wrist-shot over the glove of Scott Hellyer to tie the score at two.

35 seconds later the Stars took a 3-2 lead. Shayne Morrissey scored his first SJHL goal thanks to a lovely setup from Tim Rollins.

Andrew Dommett evened the score at three on a Kindersley power-play but again the Stars would quickly counter.

Brett Miller notched his first of the year on a Star's power-play and the Stars skated to the locker-room with a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.

Early in the third the Stars increased their lead when Shay Neufeld put home his own rebound. But true to form, this game wasn't even close to being finished.

On the very-next faceoff, Shay Neufeld took a high-stick in the face and had to leave the ice and seconds later Sanfred King made it 5-4 for Kindersley. Brett Penner then tied the score at five on a long wrist-shot from the right boards.

36 seconds later the Stars regained their lead when Tim Rollins scored on an identical looking play to that of Penner, only Rollins' shot came from the left boards.

The Klippers would tie it again at 9:20. The Stars were pinned in their own zone, and a failed clearing effort resulted in Braedon Adamyk finding some open space in the slot, and promptly scoring the game's tying goal.

With overtime looming, the Stars put lots of pressure on Scott Hellyer - But after a game of wacky bounces, the Kindersley netminder stood his ground.

With thirty seconds remaining, Kindersley's Andrew Dommett intercepted a cross-ice clearing pass, took a step and then blasted a slap-shot through Alex Sirard for his second of the game.

The Stars pulled their goalie and received a late power-play, but once again Scott Hellyer rose to the occasion and denied the Stars on one-final opportunity late in the third period.

The Klippers (1-0) outshot the North Stars 48-36 and finished 2/3 on the power-play. The Stars finished 2-7 on the man advantage. Up next for the Stars: A Tuesday night home game against the Humboldt Broncos.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stars Fall 7-6 in Home Opener.

Full details in the morning..

Stars - Klippers Preview.

Tonight the Battlefords North Stars host the Kindersley Klippers at the Civic Center. Here is a preview for tonight's matchup:



Record: 0-0-0-0

Who's Up Front:

The Kindersley Klippers boast one of the best lines in the entire SJHL. The trio of Andrew Dommett, Braedon Adamyk and John Calkins are always tough to stop. Dommett in particular has haunted the North Stars in recent years. Dommett scored his first SJHL goal against the Stars back on January 4th, 2009 and has since continued to produce against the Black and White. The Kindersley captain scored 36 goals last year, and is easily a favorite to lead the league again this season. If the Stars want to win tonight - They'll need to contain Dommett and his linemates.


Who's on D:

Kurt Leedahl and Jonothan Sonntag provide the Klippers with a reliable defensive presence on the back-end. Leedahl will see lots of power-play time, and Sonntag is a big-body who will no doubt see a lot of minutes against some of the Star's big-guns. Another defenceman who I've always liked is Sean Flanagan. He's a year older, a year wiser, and could be due for a breakout season.


Who's in Goal:

Larry Wintoneak has a ton of confidence in 20-year-old Scott Hellyer, and tonight we'll see what Hellyer is all about. A strong performance from Hellyer would go a long way not only help Kindersley win, but also to silence some early critics from around the SJHL.


X-Factor:

Tonight's X-Factor for the Kindersley Klippers is 20-year-old forward Sanfred King. King has battled injuries throughout his Junior career, but when healthy he provides the Klippers with another solid offensive option. A solid game from King, and the Klippers may very well be 1-0 to start the season.




Record: 0-0-0-0

Who's Up Front:

Say what you will about Dommett,Calkins, and Adamyk - The Stars have a strong trio of their own which is destined for big things this year. Brett Miller and Blake Tatchell will play alongside newcomer Colin Phaneuf. These three developed a ton of chemistry during the pre-season, and Kindersley's defence will have a tough time containing them tonight. A strong game from the above three will put the Stars in a great spot to win this game.


Who's on D:

Woody Klassen, Cody Folstad and Jacob Chiblow are steady and consistent. From there it's a bit of an unknown for the Star's blueline. Cade Kimery, Zack MacLellan, Dakota Johnson, Taylor Egan and Myles Baptiste will all get their chance over the next few games to show that they belong. Tonight I look to a guy like Jacob Chiblow to come in and make his presence known. Chiblow played with a lot of aggressiveness, and is a good puck-mover. If Chiblow can elevate his game the Stars should be okay defensively.

Who's in Goal:

Alexandre Sirard is the unlikely starter for the Battlefords North Stars in tonight's game. Sirard was acquired in the middle of this week, and will be thrust into the spotlight tonight. The ultimate key for Sirard will be to keep things simple. He's 19 and has experience in both the WHL and SJHL. Who knows? A couple of good outings from Sirard will certainly complicate the goaltending matters moving forward for the Stars.


X-Factor:

Josh Daley and Shay Neufeld are two 20-year-olds that could be poised for a big game. Neufeld had a tough time scoring during the pre-season, but his play has improved tremendously. Daley owned the Kindersley Klippers last year - Especially at home. If Neufeld and Daley can find some chemistry together and score a goal or two, the Stars could very well be on their way to a 1-0 start to the season.


----------------------

Tonight's game will be broadcast live on CJNB/CJNS starting at 7:15 with the Sask-Tel Pregame Show. Make sure you check back tomorrow morning for a game recap and some photos.

Enjoy the game tonight.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stars Acquire Goaltender from Estevan.

The Battlefords have their opening-night goaltender and it's not Kyle Birch(suspension) or Graham Hildebrand (knee).

The Stars have acquired goaltender Alexandre Sirard (91) from the Estevan Bruins in exchange for future considerations. Sirard will start for the Stars Saturday night for their home-opener against Kindersley.

Sirard split last season with the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) and the Estevan Bruins. Sirard had a record of 2-4-1 in eight W.H.L. games and dressed in another four games for the Estevan Bruins.

It was widely believed that Garrett Montour would start the home-opener, but he was released following Tuesday's 8-5 pre-season loss in Humboldt.

Given the injury to Graham Hildebrand, Sirard will serve as a backup to Kyle Birch moving forward. Birch is eligible to return to action on September 21st when Humboldt is in town.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Details on the New D-Men.

Dakota Johnson (1990) is from Nova Scotia and played the 2007-2008 season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League(Gatineau).

He's a tough kid. According to Hockeydb.com he tallied 10 points and 102 PIMS in 28 games with the Yarmouth Mariners, a Junior A team out East. He's listed at 6'1, 210 pounds.

Zimbaluk is a 17-year-old defenceman who played in three games last season with the Swift Current Broncos. He's 6'2 and checks in at 185 lbs. Zimbaluk had 15 points in 41 games last year in Tisdale.

Cade Kimery (1991) played in Humboldt last season and tallied four points (1 G, 3 A) in 23 games. He's a right handed shot who stands 5'9 and 180lbs.

Stars Acquire Three Defencemen.

The Stars could have at least three new defencemen dressed for Saturday's Home Opener.

Ken Pearson has traded Dominic Perrault(91) to Estevan for 17-year-old D Nathan Zimbaluk and 20-year-old Dakota Johnson.

The Stars have also added former Humboldt Bronco's defenceman Cade Kimery (91).

More details to come.


Your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stars Fall 8-5 In Their Pre-Season Finale.

Tuesday night in Humboldt, the Battlefords North Stars dropped their pre-season finale 8-5 to the Humboldt Broncos.

Justin Buzzeo and Spencer Braaten each scored twice for the Broncos who ended up with eight goals on 25 shots.

The Broncos never trailed, and at one point they led 5-1.

But in the end, the Stars made a game of it. With four of their top forwards sitting in the stands, the Stars younger forwards rose to the occasion and beat last year's MVP Andrew Bodnarchuk five times.

Shayne Morrissey led the way with two goals while Josh Daley, Calder Neufeld and Vince Sauvie added singles.

After the game, Ken Pearson singled out Josh Daley, Calder Neufeld and Shay Neufeld for their effort up front. After a tough weekend on the road, those three had a ton of chances and finally were rewarded for their effort.

The trio of Shayne Morrissey, Tanner Schwab and Tim Rollins also showed spurts of excellence and certainly helped their cause moving forward.

Defensively the Stars struggled. The Humboldt Broncos took advantage of numerous turnovers and odd-man rushes.

Woody Klassen and Cody Folstad were their usual steady selves while Zack MacLellan and Myles Baptiste also had their moments.

Goaltender Garrett Montour struggled too. He surrendered five goals on 17 shots.

Ken Pearson and Blair Atcheynum will begin to further evaluate the current crop of players, and the North Star's roster will be finalized (for the moment at least) during Thursday morning's Kick Off Breakfast at the Civic Center.

The Stars have their home-opener on Saturday night at 7:30 against Kindersley.

----------

Now for the personal reaction:

The pre-season is over, and for the Battlefords North Stars it's likely a welcomed relief. Record-wise a 1-5-0-1 record is nothing to write home about, but again once the dust settles, the coaching staff have no doubt discovered who can play and who can't.

Offensively it was great to see Daley and the Neufelds breakout. It's been an up-and-down pre-season for all three, but they're on the right track. I love Calder's agressiveness, Shay's poise and Daley's natural offensive instincts.

The line up of Tanner Schwab, Shayne Morrissey and Tim Rollins has some real potential as well. Shayne Morrissey prooved that he can handle a bit of physicality and pressure. He can also boast about scoring twice on rhe defending MVP of the league.

Nathan Tomac was his steady self, and I thought Kyle Hall showed lots of hustle.

Defensively the Stars have some work to do. The forwards need to quit cheating so much and help contain the oposition. The forwards had a real tough time tonight 'bearing down' and clearing the zone.Too many defensive turnovers from the forwards.

The defenders need to play a smarter and more simple game. Tonight there were way too many situations where the D got caught flat-footed and most teams in this league will make you pay for surrendering odd-man rushes.

As for goaltending - It's hard to feel confident about Saturday knowing that both Kyle Birch (suspension) and Graham Hildebrand (injury) aren't able to play. It would be different if the Stars were more composed defensively, but right now that's simply not the case.

All of that being said - The Stars and their fans have a LOT to be excited about heading into the 2010-2011 season. This team is going to score a TON this year, and once the collective team defence improves, all will be fine.

If Ken Pearson has taught us anything in two years, it is that he's not afraid to make changes. Call it a hunch, but I can't help but feel like change is iminent.

I hope everybody can make it to the kick-off breakfast on Thursday. I can't wait for the season to truly start.

As for the call on the radio, it felt good for the most-part. Thanks for bearing with me as I sifted through a few cob-webs. It felt great to be back in my element again, and it goes without saying that I can't wait to paint the verbal picture for everyone in 2010-2011.

More writing tomorrow. Goodnight.

Game-Day Preview. (One Last Shot)

Tonight the Battlefords North Stars roll into Humboldt to wrap up their pre-season. So far the Stars have a record of 1-4-0-1 and no doubt would love to wrap up end on a high note. At this point I don't have lineups for either team, but I'm going to do my best to preview this game from a North Star's position battle stand-point.

Who's Up Front:

The Stars have quite a few question-marks up front heading into tonight's game. Without naming names, I'm off the opinion that 10 players can be considered 'locks' while six forwards are left auditioning for only three or four spots. Last night on the Sports Fix, Ken Pearson stressed that this game tonight will be the last chance for certain players to make an impression. I anticipate that a lot of the bubble players will be given every opportunity to make an impression. The goal-scorers need to score, the grinders need to grind and the tough guys need to answer the bell when asked.

Who's on D:

Defensively the Stars have four locks on 'D' with four others auditioning for three spots. I would anticipate that Humboldt will be icing a lot of their regulars, so the defense will certainly be under the microscope tonight. Justin Buzzeo, Spencer Braaten and a slough of other talented forwards could make life difficult for the Stars tonight.

Who's in Goal:

Garrett Montour will likely get the start tonight for the Stars. Ken Pearson said last night on the Sports Fix that the Stars have appealed Kyle Birch's suspension, but I have yet to receive any new information.

X-Factor:

In a situation like this, it's almost impossible to pick one specific player so instead I'm going with the collective group of defencemen. In order to win tonight, the defense needs to play a simple, responsible and physical game. If not, Garrett Montour will be in for a busy night.

Catch the broadcast tonight live from Humboldt starting at 7:15 with the Sask-Tel Pregame Show. The game starts at 7:30 and you can catch all of the action on 1050 CJNB/ 102.3 FM CJNS or www.cjnb.com.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Reflection.

Where do we begin.

On the surface I suppose that a winless weekend out East is disappointing. Every North Star fan/player/coach broadcaster was naturally hoping for three victories, and at the end of it all they settle for a meaningless record of 0-2-0-1. Before I delve into some deep analysis of the weekend, I want to remind fans that it is only pre-season, and you should not lose any sleep over the fact that the Stars went winless this weekend.

I'm going to start with the positives:

- The Stars are set in goal. With Kyle Birch and Graham Hildebrand in the fold, the Stars have a chance to win every night. To win a championship you need two capable goaltenders, and the Stars are blessed in that regard.

- Up front the Stars are STACKED with talent. Colin Phaneuf, Blake Tatchell, Brett Miller, Shay Neufeld, Calder Neufeld, Josh Daley, Shayne Morrissey, and Tanner Schwab are all capable of scoring 20 goals this year. Talent is not an easy thing to find, nor is it easy to sign. Fans who watch the North Stars regularly can look forward to some high-scoring games. The trio of Miller, Tatchell and Phaneuf were outstanding this weekend and will be one of the top lines in the league this year should they stick together.

- In addition to talent, the Stars have a strong nucleus of grit. Nathan Tomac, Tony Oak and Boyd Wakelin give the Stars a strong foundation of Character.

- The front four on the North Star's blueline will be just fine. Woody Klassen, Cody Folstad, Jacob Chiblow and Dominic Perrault can all play at this level consistently. I had to admire Woody Klassen who, after playing both Friday and Saturday pleaded with the coaches to let him play yesterday too. He didn't play - But I greatly admire that kind of gamesmanship and attitude.

- Ken Pearson may have found a couple of 'diamonds in the rough.' Before the weekend coach Pearson brought in two defenceman from B.C. and Zach MacLellan in particular was impressive. He's a great skater with a decent shot, and with a little seasoning could fit right in on the blue-line. Yesterday on the bus, coach Pearson also told me that he liked the way Cody Antos looked throughout the weekend.

---------

Moving forward, there are some obstacles facing the Stars, but I can confidently say that these obstacles are beatable.

- For those that aren't yet aware - Kyle Birch has been suspended three games for his role in a fight with Dauphin King's goaltender Brett Willows. The organization is doing their best to appeal the suspension but if it holds true, Birch will miss opening night. Graham Hildebrand won't be ready for opening night, meaning that (barring any moves) Garrett Montour will likely get the call on opening night by default. Right now that's all I'm going to say about the matter. I am going to let this situation play out before I even consider weighing in on it. I hope you understand my reasons.

- You can have all the talent in the world, but the more I watch junior hockey the more I realize that 'talent isn't everything.' Thinking back to last year's departures, it's easy to say that Chad Filteau, Blake Peake and Jesse Lebreton will all be missed for their skill and offense. But just as important were the departures of Mitch Wall, Troy Watt, Coleman Brodbin and Brody Malek. I don't use the term 'irriplacable' too often, but Wall's toughness, Watt's energy, Brodbin's ferocity and
Malek's consistency are pretty stinking close.

Earlier I wrote that Tony Oak, Boyd Wakelin and Nathan Tomac provide the Stars with a strong foundation of character, and I stand by that
statement. However I am of the opinion that the Stars need MORE character and they need to get MEANER. I'm not suggesting that the Stars need to necessarily go out and trade for it, but I think that each and every player inside that locker-room needs to look themselves in the mirror before this season and figure out ways to be better and enhance their character on the ice.

I'll use Dominic Perrault as an example. I hold Perrault in the highest regard. I think he's a great defenceman and an even greater guy who takes a ton of pride in being a Battlefords North Star. There were moments this weekend, and a lot of moments last season where 'Dom' was brilliant. He played with an edge, he kept things simple, and he used. his 'cannon of a shot' to his advantage. I look at Perrault(and many others on this team (and I see a ton of potential just waiting to be displayed. It just becomes a matter of making the most of your tools and your strengths. The La Ronge Ice Wolves won a championship last season in large part due to the strength and resiliency of their blue-line. The Stars don't have an NHL-calibre defenceman like Dustin Stevenson, but there's no reason why Woody Klassen, Dominic Perrault, and Cody Folstad can't have career years at both ends of the ice. Along with Jacob Chiblow, the above three d-men are going to get lots of ice-time and opportunities early to set the tone for this season.

Up front it's the same thing. The forwards as a collective need to crash the net harder, finish their checks better, and be more willing to go into the 'grimy' areas of the ice in order to make plays and get
results. It's up to the veterans in that locker-room to create a certain 'identity' for the Stars heading into 2010-2011 and here's hoping it's one of equal parts talent and toughness.

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You are not going to want to miss tonight's edition of the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix. Star's Coach and GM Ken Pearson will be one of three guests. I'm going to ask the coach about his thoughts on training camp, the 'captain' situation surround the team, and I'm also going to get his assessment of how the rest of the SJHL stacks up compared to his team.

Guest two will be the head-coach and GM of the Dauphin Kings, Marlin Murray. I spent a bit of time with Murray this weekend, and I can confidently say that I am greatly looking forward to the interview. He led his team to a birth in the Royal Bank Cup last season (through the front door) which was held in Dauphin. He's got a promising team heading into 2010-2011 and we'll get some Manitoba perspective from one of the league's top coaches.

Guest three will be the head coach of the North Battleford Comp Viking's Sr. Boys football program, Jamie Sommerfeld.

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A quick reminder that tomorrow night's game in Humboldt will be broadcast.live on CJNB/CJNS starting at 7:15. I always like to give myself one pre season broadcast to shake off some of the cobwebs. It'll give me a chance to learn the players tendencies, and I hope you'll all tune in to the action.

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Dane Muench continues to score goals during the pre-season for the Regina Pats. It's looking more and more like Dane will be sticking around the provincial capital this season.

-------------

Again, assessing the pre season is a difficult thing to do. They have one pre-season game remaining (against Humboldt, tomorrow) and beyond victory, I hope the Stars make good hockey decisions on the ice and begin building momentum leading up to Saturday night's home opener against Kindersley.

In closing, I'm inviting anybody who feels inclined to leave their roster thoughts. Who would you like to see stay and why?

Have a great Monday.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stars - Terriers (Third Period)

- Blaine Tendler scores the fourth Yorkton Goal after he leaves the penalty box.

- Not a memorable third by any stretch.

- The Farrell Agencies arena in Yorkton is still the only rink that I have never seen the Stars win in.

- Some decisions are going to be pretty easy for the coaches after the weekend.

- 4-1 Final. I will share my thoughts on the collective trip either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Stars - Terriers (Period 2)

Highlights:

- Early goal from McDonell made it 2-1 Terriers.

- Craig Eisenhut made it 3-1.

- Colin Phaneuf got robbed on a penalty-shot.

- Derek Pfisrerer denied point-blank by Peters.

- Devin Peters showing why he's touted as one of the top goalies.

3-1 after Two.

Stars - Terriers Period 1

- Lots to like about this period.

- Phaneuf scored the first goal on a dandy pass from Blake Tatchell.

- Rylan McDonell tied it moments later on the PP for Yorkton.

- Daley, Folstad, Phaneuf, Miller, Tatchell, Baptiste, Schwab and Montour were all really good in the first.

1-1 after One.

Stars Sunday Lineup

So, uhh how 'bout those Riders? Anyway, here is the lineup for today's game:

Phaneuf - Tatchell - Miller

Oak - Tomac - Tichkowsky

Schwab - Daley - S. Neufeld

Hall - Pfisterer - C Neufeld

Chiblow - Folstad

Perrault - Baptiste

Egan - Wourms

*Montour

---------

Tomorrow morning I am going to post a lengthy entry that will essentially recap the weekend. I've got a lot to say, but I'd rather type it, and not do so with my phone. Ultimately I think this team will do great things this season, though the results of this weekend have not exactly been what everybody has expected.

I'll be blogging and tweeting the action this afternoon. Thanks for your continued readership and feedback!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Third Period

- HUGE HIT by Dominic Perrault to start the third. When Dom does that, he's at his best.

- Better energy all-around to start the period.

- Regan Hedley adds his second of the game. The tandem of Wourms and Baptiste got beat.

- Colton Graf makes it a 4-0 game.

- Just a clumsy game all around for the visitors.

- Boyd Wakelin has been one of the only bright spots tonight.

- Derek Pfisterer fights Travis Cech.Thatta boy Pfisty!

- Stars just had a three-on-one and didn't get a shot. Tough night.

Game over. Dauphin 4 Stars 0. Shots 45-25 for the home-team.

Kings goals: Graf, Peeke, Hedley (2)

Period 2

- Post got deleted.

To summarize:

- Tomac is done for hitting from behind.

- Stars are being outshot 29 -13.

- The Kings are out-hustling and out-hitting the Stars.

- Not a lot to rave about in Period 2.

- 4 minutes left.

Score at the end of 2:

Dauphin 2 - Stars 0

Period 2

- Post got deleted.

To summarize:

- Tomac is done for hitting from behind.

- Stars are being outshot 29 -13.

- The Kings are out-hustling and out-hitting the Stars.

- Not a lot to rave about in Period 2.

- 4 minutes left.

Score at the end of 2:

Dauphin 2 - Stars 0

Stars - Kings Part Two. (Period 1)

- Dauphin Strikes early. 19 seconds in.Jeremy Peeke gives Dauphin a 1-0 lead.

- Good bounce back shift by Tanner Schwab and co.

- I'm calling it: Chad Tichkowsky is gonna fight Travis Cech.

- Colton Graf gets busted for two minutes. He took a hack at 0om Perrault after an open-ice hit.

- Klassen hits a post, but nobody puts home the rebound.

- Montour with a nice save off of Peeke.

- Dauphin gets another one off a wrap-around. Regan Hedley with the goal.2-0 Kings.

- Dauphin outshooting the Stars 11 - 6.

- Finally some life from Antos, Wakelin and Tomac.

- Baptiste to the box for a debatable "boarding"enalty on Graf.

Period Over. 2-0 Dauphin.
-

Stars Lineup for Tonight

Schwab - Daley - Rollins

C. Neufeld - Morrissey - Tichkowsky

Hall - Pfisterer - S. Neufeld

Antos - Tomac - Wakelin

Klassen - Perrault

Wourms - Baptiste

Eagan - MacLellan

*Montour
Birch

Friday, September 10, 2010

Five-Man Shootout Time!

BAT - Brett Miller (Miss)

DAU - Shane Luke (Goal)

BAT - Colin Phaneuf (Miss)

DAU - Bryn Chysyk (Goal)

BAT - Shayne Morrissey (Miss)

DAU - Derek Falloon (Miss)

BAT - Josh Daley (Goal)

DAU - Colton Graf (Goal for the win!)

Dauphin wins 8-7 in the Shootout.

Third Period (Contined)

- Stars net empty. Dauphin with a cross-checking penalty. 1:28 to go.

- Colin Phaneuf ties it! 7-7.

Third Period (Continued)

- Chris Daniels makes it 7-5 for Dauphin on a nice wrister from the slot.

- Boyd Wakelin makes it 7-6 after a give-and-go with Tomac. 4:46 to go.

Third Period (Continued)

- Wakelin NEARLY gives the Stars the lead!

- Bryn Chyzyk gives Dauphin the lead on a dandy feed from Shane Luke. Luke, Chyzyk and Grondin all have two goals.

Third Period (Continued)

- Colin Phaneuf ties it!! Breakaway goal.

Third Period

- So far a couple of nice chances for the Stars.

- Shayne Morrissey makes it a 5-4 game! 16:14 remaining. Nice set up from Tim Rollins.

Second Period (Continued)

- Still 5-2. People still buzzing about the tilt.

- Garrett Montour with a couple of beauty saves! He'll be busy over the next two nights at least.

- The Stars are showing their stuff in spurts, but are having a tough time staying consistent. Dauphin in their own right is a good team. Still lots of talent left from last year.

- Dauphin has way too much space out there. They've had a large number of two-on-ones and three-on-twos.

- Woody Klassen drills home a slapper. Dauphin up 5-3. Still lots of game left.

- Awesome follow-up shift by the Oak-Tomac-Wakelin trio. No goals though.

Period Over. 5-3 Dauphin leads.

Second Period (Continued)

- Good golly.. Birch got run. He charges after the culprit. Brett Willows crosses center, and a battle ensues. Kyle and Willows with a big-time fight!! Both are booted. Stars to get a 4:00 power-play because of Willows instigating.

Second Period (Continued)

- Gahh, the goals keep coming. A failed clear by Morrissey results in a Dauphin goal. Tyler Gaudry with the point-shot, Keith Grondin with his second of the game.5-2 Kings.

(12:20 left)

Second Period Continued

- Brett Miller gets one back on a two-on-one with Phaneuf. 4-2 the score.

Secoñd Period - Continued.

- Boyd Wakelin and Colton Graf get into a shoving match. No punches thrown. Darn.

- Shane Luke gets his second goal, his third point of the game. 4-1 Kings.Another PP tally.

17:21 remaining in the second.

Second Period

- 9 seconds into the period, Phaneud scores from Tatchell.Buuut dis-allowed. Still 2-1.

- Chiblow gets two for slashing. Dauphin PP.

- That didn't take long.Keith Grondin makes it 3-1 Kings.

(19:00 minutes left).

First Period Continued

- Bah, I accidently erased an entry. Its 2-0 Kings. Stars on their second power-play.

- Zach MacLellan buries on the PP after some great passing by Tatchell, Phaneuf and Miller.

- 2-1 Dauphin. 40 seconds left.

- Period Over. Stars with 12 shots, Kings with 10.

Stars - Kings (Period 1) - Continued

- 11:37 remaining in Period 1.

- Shane Luke gets a pass in front and Roofs one. Flying Water-Bottle and everything. 2-0 Kings. (10:20 left)

Stars - Kings (Period 1)

- Birch and Willows are starting in goal. Stars in Black, Kings in White.

- A lengthy version of OH Canada, and we're ready to go in Dauphin.

- Tatchell steals the puck from Colin Paull and gets denied by Brett Willows.

- Chris Daniels scores, but refs decide that it's kicked in. Still Zeros.

- So far Eagan and MacLellan look strong. Two hits from Eagan, and MacLellan can skate!

- Dominic Perrault turns the puck over - Birch denies the Dauphin shooter.

-Bryn Chyzyk tips hope a Shane Luke shot. 1-0 Dauphin.

Stars - Kings (Lineup)

Here is the lineup for tonight:

Phaneuf - Tatchell - Miller
Oak - Tomac - Wakelin
Antos - Morrissey - Rollins
Hall - Daley - S. Neufeld

Chiblow - Klassen
Folstad - Perrault
Zach MacLellan - Taylor Egan

*Birch
Montour

Scratches: Schwab, C. Neufeld, Pfisterer, Tichkowsky, Wourms, Baptiste

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stars - Klippers (Period 3)

9:33 - 2 minutes left.

9:34 - Riley Down denied by Birch on a breakaway! Still a 4-3 game. Stars take a penalty on the play. Chiblow for a 'baseball swing. Timeout Klippers.

9:35 - Net empty for Kindersley.

9:37 - Baptiste just misses the empty-net. Klippers ice the puck. 3 seconds left.

GAME OVER. 4-3 Stars

My three Stars:

1) Kyle Birch
2) Calder Neufeld
3) Andrew Dommett

Stars - Klippers (Period 3)

9:29 - 4:48 remaining.

9:30 - Birch with a glorious save, Tomac goes back and buries! 4-3. Neil Gamble playing 'Chelsea Dagger' by the Fratellis!

Stars - Klippers (Third Period)

9:23 - Great effort by the Stars tonight. 8 minutes to go.

9:24 - Both goalies have made some fantastic stops tonight. Birch makes a dandy on Tanner Exner.

9:27 - Beau Taylor gets by the D, and ties the score at three.

Stars 3 - Klippers 3

Stars - Klippers (Period 3)

9:19 - Morrissey denied by McDonald but draws a cross-checking penalty. Stars to the PP.

9:21 - 3-2 Stars. Kyle Hall tips home a Dominic Perrault slapper.

3-2 Stars. (9:44 to go.)

Stars - Klippers (Period 3)

9:11 - Kindersley penalty. Stars PP, their third.

9:13 - 502 fans at the C.C. Tonight.

9:15 - Baptiste takes two for interference. Klippers back on the PP.

9:17 - Andrew Dommett scores to tie the game. Best wrister in the SJ - No question.

2-2.

Stars - Klippers (Period 3)

9:07 - Tony Oak and Co. Need to create some energy. So far kind of a bland period.

9:09 - It worked. Next shift, Calder Neufeld buries his second of the game. 2-1 Stars.

Stars 2 - Klippers 1 (17 minutes remaining)

Stars - Klippers (Period 2 Continued)

8:35 - Nathan Tomac nearly takes it all the way, but ran out of real-estate.

8:37 - Nathan Tomac now gets a high-sticking penalty. Third Kindersley PP. They're one for two.

8:38 - Solid goaltending by Birch. Keeping the game tied. He denies Flanagan and Dommett on the PP.

8:40 - Morrissey comes inches away from a shorty.

8:46 - It's still 1-1. Shots 20 - 17 for the Stars.

8:49 - Birch with a buzzer-beating save!

1-1 after 2.

Stars - Klippers (Period 2)

8:20 - 'Klips on the PP to start the period.

8:23 - Dominic Perrault throws a big hit to get the crowd into it!

8:25 - Adamyk gives Birch a nice spray of snow after Birch covered a puck.If I were a goalie....

8:31 - Birch FLASHES the leather and makes a great save off of Riley Down.

8:32 - Another strong shift from Tatchell-Miller-Hall-Baptiste-Forbes.

8:33 - Josh Daley with a brilliant 'no-look' pass in front. Calder Neufeld scores. It's 1-1.

Klippers 1 - Stars 1 (10:26 to go in period 2)

Stars Klippers Period 1 Continued.

7:47 - Blair Atcheynum is not a happy coach right now, and for good reason. Stars are getting pinched by the refs early.

7:48 - It worked. Interference Penalty to Kindersley. Tanner Schwab with the dirty work.

7:49 - Morrissey with a nice rush and shot.

7:50 - Tatchell witb great vision. Dom Perrault comes close from the right point.

7:53 - Strong start for both teams. Shots on goal - 6-5 Kindersley.

7:54 - Dillon Forbes wants to be a North Star. He (at age 17) broke up a two-on-one that featured Dommett and Adamyk.Right now I'd say he's got a great chance.

7:57 - Great shift for Brett Miller. Stars just can't finish in the early going.

7:59 - Penalty Kindersley. The Stars have been the better squad this past five minutes.

8:00 - Dillon Forbes has three shots this period.

8:02 - Stars take a holding penalty late. Tichkowsky. 12 seconds left in Period One.

Period over. 1-0 Kindersley. Shots on goal 9-9.

Stars - Klippers (Period 1)

7:28 - Stars in Black. Klippers in White.

7:35 - Calder Neufeld goes off.for boarding. Josh Daley is centering the Neufelds.

7:36 - Dominic Perrault pinches and misses. LUckily it was offside Kindersley.

7:40 - No goals yet. Stars doing a great job with the physical play. Kindersley too.

7:42 - Jon Sonntag with a big hit on Brett Miller. Sonntag looks more agile this year.

7:43 - Calder Neufeld gets the gate for interference. Sorry ref but, "brutal call" and the Klippers promptly score off the faceoff. John Calkins from Adamyk and Dommett. Do you think that trio will do lots of scoring this year? Me thinks yes.

1-0 Klippers.

Stars - Klippers Pre-Game Notes

Now we're talking!

Kindersley is dressing a lineup full of veterans, and the Stars can say the same.

For the Klippers, Andrew Dommett, John Calkins, and Braedon Adamyk are in, same with Taylor Duzan, Sanfred King and Kurt Leedahl.

For the Stars, Kyle Birch gets the start in goal, and rather than tell you who is playing - I'll simply tell you that Woody Klassen, Colin Phaneuf, Tim Rollins and Cody Antos are out.

Brett Miller is starting on a line with Blake Tatchell and Kyle Hall. Cody Folstad and Jacob Chiblow will start on D.

Should be a BEAUTY from the Civic Center tonight.

Wednesday Food for Thought.

The Battlefords North Stars will look to grab their first pre-season victory tonight when the Kindersley Klippers come to town. The Stars dropped an 8-5 decision to the Humboldt Broncos last night in front of 563 fans at the Civic Center.

Last night's game would have made the hockey purist quiver, but regardless there were definitely some positives which Ken Pearson and the rest of the staff can take back to the drawing-board.

Offensively the line of Shayne Morrissey, Tanner Schwab and Tim Rollins found some success. Morrissey showed the same offensive-knack that got him noticed during training camp. Schwab showed some strong skill, and Rollins used his speed to his advantage, and played his best game so far during camp/pre-season.

Another bright spot up front for the Stars was 1995 born Joel Blaquiere. His impressive camp continued last night with a goal, and I see a lot of promise and potential moving forward.

Defensively Dillon Forbes stood out. At age 17, Forbes has a decent offensive upside, and can handle himself defensively. Jacob Chiblow and
Myles Baptiste also showed spurts of strong play.

--------------

After the game, Ken Pearson hinted that he's going to dress more veterans in tonight's game against Kindersley. He applauded the patience of the veterans, and wants to get most of them into a game situation before the weekend road-trip. Barring any last minute changes, I'd expect to see Garrett Montour getting the start in goal.

As for Kindersley's lineup - I have no idea, but I reckon that coach Larry Wintoneak will dress some of his veterans.

---------------

I'm looking forward to this weekend's trip to Dauphin. It will be my first time visiting the 'Fishing Capital of Manitoba' and it'll be neat. to see last year's R.B.C. Cup hosts face the Stars. I will be doing a TON of writing that weekend, so you can look forward to some more work throughout the weekend.

---------------

I spoke briefly with goaltender Graham Hildebrand last night. I asked about the status of his knee, and he told me that he's feeling better. I got the impression that he's almost ready to return to the ice and hopefully Graham will be ready for Opening Night.

---------------

I am growing increasingly jealous of those who own either a PS3 or an X-Box360. I tried the demo of NHL 11 at a buddy's place, and now that the game has been released, it's almost a certainty that I'll be buying either an X Box360 or PS3 sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Any gamers care to weigh in and tell me which console they prefer? Right now I'm leaning towards a PS3 for the Blue-Ray capabilities, but I'm by no means 100 percent sold yet.

----------------

I'll be doing more blogging/tweeting from the game tonight, and I'm also hoping to get some photos from tonight's game as well. Julie took some great photos from night one of training camp, and I'll work on getting those uploaded before too long. Enjoy your Wednesday, and hopefully I'll see you tonight.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stars - Broncos (Period 3)

9:05 - Dillon Forbes throws a big hit for the Stars. Good to see.

9:08 - Andrew Peaychew gets caught again. A two-on-one for Humboldt and Matt Glowa scores his second.

9:09 - Tripping penalty to Reece Fenrich. PP time again for Humboldt.

9:13 - 563 Fans in attendance. Well done Battlefords. Well done.

9:14 - Tim Rollins scores from the high-slot. 7-4 Broncos. Plenty of time left. Remember last year against Melfort???? Just sayin...

9:16 - The broadcast booth crew agrees that Dillon Forbes has been the best D-man for the Stars tonight.

9:17 - More of these guys need to show more emotion. Not going to name names, but there have been a few passengers tonight.

9:23 - A bit surprised we haven't seen any fists yet.

9:26 - 3:51 remaining. Stars get a power-play.

9:29 - Cody Antos buries his second.Morrissey with the setup. 7-5.

9:33 - Matt Glowa adds his third of the game into an empty-net. Hey, they all count!

Final score: 8-5 Humboldt.

The three best Stars:

1) Shayne Morrissey
2) Justin Lund
3) Dillon Forbes

Stars - Broncos (Period 2)

8:19 - Justin Lund with a solid first shift. For. 94, he's solid.

8:21 - I think that Music Man Neil Bamble needs to play some "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent. Oh yeah, still 2-1.

8:23 - The fellas and I had a debate during the intermission - Swedish girls or Latvian girls... Who's hotter?

8:24 - Jacob Chiblow takes a slashing penalty.Humboldt PP.

8:26 - The parade to the sin-bin continues. Myles Baptiste gets two for hitting to head.Five-on-three for a whopping six seconds.Baptiste gets two and a 10 minute misconduct.

8:29 - Blair Mahon keeps flopping, but he keeps making saves. Jacob Chiblow going back to the box. PP number three for the Broncos.

8:32 - Cody Nickolet: "Humboldt is hitting the bars harder than Lindsay Lohan."

8:32 - Matt Glowa makes it 2-2 with a nifty finish. Mahon is going to stay in for the entire game, leading to the assumption that Garrett Montour will play tomorrow.

8:36 - Antkowiak dangles Wourms, and Patt Tran scores a softie. 3-2 Humboldt.

8:37 - Annnndd Back come the Broncos and Cody Wourms makes it 4-2.

8:38 - Back come the Stars. Morrissey with a filthy pass to Jordan Blaquiere. No mistake. 4-3. Kyle Hall adds an assist.

8:42 - Jacob Chiblow gets his third penalty of the game. Humboldt back to the PP.

8:44 - Humboldt promptly scores on the mani-advantage. It's 5-3.Cody Wourms (2) from Schlosser and Brett Bieber.

8:45 - Humboldt skates down and they pot another. Another shaky goal. The D has gotta start helping Mahon out. Paul Sonntag with the goal. 6-3 Humboldt.

Period Over.

Stars - Broncos Live Blog. (Period 1)

- Great Crowd tonight for a Preseason Game. Nice job Battlefords!

-------------------

7:32 - We are underway. Stars starting Mahon in goal. Broncos starting Matt McIntosh.

7:33 - Two early shots for Humboldt. Blair Mahon two easy saves.

7:36 - Justin Lund's line with an early good shift!

7:38 - Just as I was I was about to type 'No whistles yet' - There's a penalty to Humboldt.

7:40 - Finally the passing is starting to look better. 7-minute mark, 0-0.

7:41 - Stars 0-1 on the PP.

7:44 - Tanner Schwab in the corner, feeds Shayne Morrissey in front. First shot denied, he buries.the rebound. 1-0 Stars.

7:45 - Did I mention that Morrissey is pretty good? Well he is.

7:45 - Stars going to another PP. Adam Antkowiak (who is HUGE) gets two for interference.

7:47 - Ryne Keller sets up Cody Antos for a beauty! 2-0 Stars. That's a PP tally. Chad Tickkowsky with the second assist.

7:51 - Mahon stops Jordy Jones on a breakaway. A diving Jacob Chiblow stops the rebound.It's still 2-0.

7:53 - Sloppy start. Puck bouncing on both teams big time.

7:56 - Chad Tickkowsky gets the gate (for good) for hitting from behind.Tempers flair afterwards. Nobody injured. Brett Bieber gets two as well. We're four-on-fourm

7:59.- Andrew Peaychew gets caught up ice. Anthony Nobell receives a pass and buries on the breakaway for Humboldt. 2-1.Jake Rawlins with the assist.

PERIOD OVER.

Sept. 7 Roster vs. Humboldt

 
 Battlefords North Stars
                 
35 Blair Mahon.             
02 Zach Wourms            
03 Reece Fenrich        
04 Dillon Forbes           
05 Myles Baptiste       
07 Andrew Peeyachew    
08 Tanner Schwab        
09Joel Blaquiere          
10 Jacob.Chiblow       
11 Derek Pfisterer   .
12 Chad Tichkowsky  .      
14 Justin Lund        
15 Ryne Keller        
16 Kyle Hall           
17 Cody Antos          
19 Blake Young         
21 Shayne Morrissey   
22 Tim Rollins         
23 Calder Neufeld      
39 Garrett Montour


See you tonight!

Tuesday Morning

It wasn't exactly the start that the Battlefords North Stars were hoping for, but regardless an 8-3 loss to Kindersley in an all-rookie game is not the end of the world. I wasn't in Eston last night, so I can't give you a first-hand glimpse of the game, but I'll be speaking with Coach Pearson later this morning, and I'll post his thoughts later.

-----------

It will be interesting to see what type of team is dressed for tonight's game against Humboldt. I'd expect to see some, but not all of the veterans on the ice for the Stars. I'll do my best to get a roster posted on the blog before the game. I'll be at the game tonight, and I'll be tweeting the results as they occur.

EDIT: I've just been informed through text message that only one veteran will dress tonight. I'm not sure who yet. But when I find out - You will too.

Quick question: Do you prefer when I tweet results? Or would you rather I do a live blog from the game, similar to that of training camp?

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I really enjoyed my conversation with North Star's fourth year forward Tony Oak on last night's Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix. He spoke very eloquently about the upcoming season, and had some neat things to say about his first three years in the Battlefords. Here is a brief transcript of your chat from last night's program:

DO: Have the Stars learned their lesson (from last year's playoff defeat), and can they be even better this year?

TO: I can already tell just from camp. Guys who weren't willing to take a hit to make a play last year, are already showing that in camp that they'll gladly take a hit to make a simple pass or a simple chip out. Any veteran on the team has that mindset now that we're going to have to take a beating to get some wins and want to win the big games.

DO: This is a team currently without a captain. Is that a role that you would be comfortable with? And is that an honor that you currently want and are coveting?

TO: Absolutely. I'd definitely be comfortable with that role and it's definitely something that I am striving for, If Ken chooses so, then I would gladly take on that role and I'd enjoy to have it. But I've got to earn it still. Nobody's earned it yet. We'll have to earn it through exhibition season and let Ken make his decision then.

DO: When you look at the returning players. Who is going to be that 'breakout player' who can challenge for the team lead in scoring?

TO: It's going to be a tie between Brett Miller and Blake Tatchell.

DO: How competitive do you expect things to be as the season draws nearer?

TO: I think it's going to be just as competitive as the regular season. We've still got guys fighting for a spot on this team. Guys who think they've got a spot guaranteed in this team, but in the back of their minds they know that there's somebody on the back of their heels challenging for it. We're going to be challenging each other, and challenging other teams cuz we're expected to be one of the best. We want to prove that right away, exhibition season or not, we want to prove that we are the best.

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More later, I assure you.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tonight's Roster.

Battlefords North Stars Roster vs Kindersley Sept. 6th


Battlefords North Stars

35 Blair Mahon 94
02 Connor Gulka 93
03 Reece Fenrich 94
04 Dillon Forbes 93
05 Eric Pfeifer 95
06 Robin Yew 95
07 Andrew Peeyachew 92
08 Regan Yew 95
09 Joel Blaquiere 95
10 Chad Tichkowsky 92
11 Derek Pfisterer 92
12 Bryden Serafini 94
14 Justin Lund 94
15 Ryne Keller 94
16 Jesse Gerbig 93
17 Cody Antos 92
19 Blake Young 94
21 Jordaan Braun 94
22 Tim Rollins 92
39 Garrett Montour 92

Let the Battles Begin!

The dust has settled on Training Camp, and now the 'real' pre-season begins.

The Access 7 Cup was awarded to Team White after an impressive 9-2 victory over Team Black. Kyle Birch was solid for Team White, surrendering no goals through the first 30 minutes of the contest. Some of the other stand-outs for Team White were: Brett Miller, Jacob Chiblow, Shayne Morrissey and Myles Baptiste.

Don't let the final score fool you - Team Black had a TON of chances. The line of Blake Tatchell, Colin Phaneuf and Shay Neufeld looked dangerous throughout the entire game. Shay Neufeld showed some tremendous speed and confidence, Colin Phaneuf showed lots of skill, and Blake Tatchell was well... Blake Tatchell.

--------------

Following the Access 7 Cup, Ken Pearson made some roster cuts, and will now turn his attention to tonight's pre season showdown in Eston against Kindersley.

Tonight's matchup is slated as an "all-rookie" affair between the two clubs. It's always a fun game to watch, because in essence you're watching the team's future.

--------------

Offensively I think the North Stars stack up nicely. Blake Tatchell, Brett Miller, Shay Neufeld, Colin Phaneuf, Josh Daley, Shayne Morrissey, Calder Neufeld and Tanner Schwab are all skilled forwards who will be expected to score lots. Kyle Hall brings lots of speed and grit to the table, and Nathan Tomac, Tony Oak, Boyd Wakelin, Cody Antos and Tim Rollins could also fill some roles very nicely.

Defensively there's lots to feel good about too. Woody Klassen, Cody Folstad, Dominic Perrault and Jacob Chiblow gives the Stars a solid top-four. As for the other slots, Ken Pearson definitely has options.

Earlier I highlighted the play of defenceman Myles Baptiste. He's 20, a right-handed shot, and he's mean! He seems to have decent hands for a big guy, and he plays with a real aggressiveness on the back-end. Baptiste played last year in the M.J.H.L. with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines and tallied eight points in 29 games.

Andrew Peaychew and Zack Wourms are two others who will no doubt receive some consideration as the pre season continues.

Also, don't forget about Kyle Schmidt who is attending WHL camp with the Calgary Hitmen.

----------------

Garrett Montour and Blair Mahon are the two other goalies remaining in camp. Tyler Cockburn was let go on Saturday, and Lukas McDonald was sent home after the Black and White game.

Montour and Mahon will likely split time tonight in Eston.

-----------------

Tonight on the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix, I'll be speaking with the longest tenured North Star, Tony Oak. Oak is entering his fourth full season with the club, and has seen some pretty extreme highs and lows during that time.

I've got a number of questions that I'm excited to ask him, and I'll do so tonight at 8:00.

My other confirmed guest is the play-by-play voice of the Estevan Bruins, Blaine Weyland. Together we'll shed some light on the Estevan Bruins, and talk about the expectations for the league's most southern community.

Also, in response to the blog poll - Josh Daley made a nice run on Sunday and received the most votes. Unfortunately for Daley fans, Oak had the most votes when I last checked the blog yesterday so that's why he's my guest this week.

I'm sure if I ask Josh nicely, he'll have no objection to come on the program next Monday?

----------------------

Thank you for your readership! Seriously, I was blown away on Saturday when I saw that over 300 people had visited. Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted how fun and successful this blog would be. Keep reading, keep commenting, and I will happily keep writing.

Enjoy your long-weekend Monday everybody, and good luck to the Star's rookies in Eston tonight.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

(Green vs. White) Period 2

4:35: White adds to their lead. Blacquiere took the initial shot. Morrissey may have put it in as it was bouncing on the goal-line. Either way, Morrissey is beasting it. 6-4 White.

4:38: Defenceman Ken Tomchuk scores for White, its 7-4.

4:40: Shay Neufeld sets up Shayne Morrissey. That my friends is at least a hatty. If not four.

4:42: Joel Blacquiere adds to his total. Nice finish and a 9-4 lead for White.

4:46: Tait Bellegarde scores again for Team Green. 9-5.

4:48: Calder Nuefeld scores on a great individual effort. It's 9-6.

4:54: Ryne Keller gives White a double digit score. 10-5.

4:59: Nathan Tomac gets on the board. 11-5 White.

3 Stars:

1) Shayne Morrissey
2) Shay Neufeld
3) Joel Blacquiere

Green vs. White (Period 1)

3:48: Birch in goal for White, Mahon for Team Green.

3:51: Mitch Wall and Brody Malek are suited up for Green again.

3:52: Shay Neufeld continues to own. 1-0 White after a great skating effort by Neuf.

3:52: Nathan Tomac scores a softie to make it 2-0 White.

3:56: Jordan Braun's impressive camp continues. He makes it 2-1.

3:56: Shayne Morrissey dangles the D and scores. 3-1 White. (In Borat Voice) - VERY-NICE.

4:01: Great back-and-forth action. Ryan Hovdebo strikes back for Green. 3-2. This game has great energy. Oh, Tait Bellegarde has just tied it at 3. He's had a good camp.

4:02: Ummm... Shayne Morrissey is pretty good. Another roof-daddy. Its 4-3 White.

4:06: Joel Blacquiere makes it 5-3 White. He's a 95. One of only four in camp.

4:08: Mitch Wall dangles through Peaychew and makes it 5-4. Why do I know that name?

4:11: Kyle Birch 'Patrick Roys' Calder Neufeld from in close.

4:16: Tatchell STONED by Blair Mahon in the final seconds. 5-4 after 1.

Black vs. Yellow (Period 2)

2:46: I'm back in my seat before the period starts! This is a first for me during camp. Maybe I won't be cut after all.

2:50: Lukas McDonald now playing goal for Yellow.

3:00: Ten minutes gone, and very little of anything to report.

3:04: Josh Daley puts home a rebound to make it a 3-3 game.

3:04: Colin Phaneuf comes right back and scores at the other end. 4-3 Yellow.

3:11: Cody Folstad has been crushing guys all game. Easily the most physical player. He's on pace to get a Game Star.

3:17: Josh Daley with his third goal of the game, and it was a beauty! Tie game with 3:50 left.

3:19: Cody Folstad steals the puck from Perrault, walks in alone and is DENIED by Lukas McDonald.

Game over. 4-4.

Star Time:

1) Josh Daley (Black)
2) Cody Folstad (Black)
3) Colin Phaneuf (Yellow)

Black vs. Yellow (Period 1)

2:07: Tyler Cockburn in goal for Black.Garrett Montour starts for Yellow.

2:08: 1-0 Yellow. Great finish by Cody Antos.Dominic Perrault started the play with a nice back-check.

2:09: Quick goal from Black. 1-1. I was typing and missed it. I need to hire an assistant.

2:12: Josh Daley scores his fourth of the day. 2-1 Black. Daley had a rough game yesterday, so I'm pleased to see him scoring today.

2:14: The offence continues. Brett Miller scores to tie it at 2.

2:15: Troy Watt is reffing. Maybe this will finally be a game where I'm not muttering profanities outloud about reffing.

2:15: Derek Pfisterer makes it 3-2 Black. I want him on the team for his last name alone.

2:19: Cody Folstad took a puck off the mouth. He's back out though.I hear they are tough in Birch Hills, SK.

2:23: Colin Phaneuf does it again! 3-2 Yellow. And then minutes later he steals the puck from his buddy Jacob Chiblow and nearly strikes again. Nice recovery by Chiblow.

2:32: Josh Daley gets rag-dolled to the ice on a breakaway. No call.C'mon Watt!! You're a bum! Make the call!

2:33: So much for not chirping the ref.

Period Over.

Day Two (So Far)

I just arrived at the rink. From all accounts, the morning ice sessions were successful.

Green defeated Black 8-7. Josh Daley had three for team Black. Oak scored three for Green in the win. Calder Neufeld set up three for the Green side.

Team Yellow beat Team White 7-6. Colin Phaneuf scored once and added an assist.

Blake Tatchell scored twice and added a helper for White. Ryne Keller had two goals and Shayne Morrissey got off the schnide with a goal and an assist.

Team Yellow vs. Team Black coming up. I'll have another live blog coming up!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Period 2 (Green vs. Yellow)

8:41: Each team scored once while I was making my way up to the booth. Clearly I'm not hustling and my spot on this team is in jeapardy.

8:45: Dominic Perrault sets up Colin Phaneuf for a beauty! I think its 5-3 Green?

8:47: So far so good for Yellow netminder Lukas McDonald.He's big. Covers lots of the net.

8:51: Great speed down the left-wing side by Colin Phaneuf who shovels one under Mahon. Yellow back within one, it's 5-4.

8:52: Blast! Another goal while blogging. This time by Green. 6-4. It was either Oak, Schwab or Calder Neufeld. I'm thinking Oak cuz he's such a sniper!

8:55: Another goal for team Green. This time I was busy looking at the CFL score - BC beating Montreal on the road? Must be a full moon.

8:59: Woody Klassen pads the lead for Team Green.

9:00: Tanner Schwab continues to win battles and make plays. He's a 1st Star candidate.

9:03: Lucas Anseth (94) finishes a nice tic-tac-toe play to draw closer for Yellow.

9:06: Jesse Gerbig finishes a gorgeous pass from Colin Phaneuf. Phaneuf is also a first star candidate.

Game over. 3 Stars:

3) Woody Klassen (Green)
2) Tanner Schwab (Green)
1) Colin Phaneuf (Yellow)

Green vs. Yellow (Period 1)

7:59 - It's (Brett) Miller time. 1-0 Yellow on a breakaway.

8:00: An impressive number of fans at the NBCC tonight. I guess nobody wanted to stay home to watch Montreal and BC play football.

8:02: Brett Miller is beasting. By far the fastest kid on the ice. A total gamer.

8:03: Already it seems as if more bodychecks have been thrown in this game. The players must have been reading the blog before their game.

8:04: Yellow goaltender Garrett Montour with a great save. Both he and Lukas McDonald will split the goaltending for Yellow. Blair Mahon is in net for Green.

8:07: Zach Wourms is a GIANT of a d-man for team Green. I'm impressed so far. He's 19 and can skate well.

8:08: Julie is taking photos. She doesn't need a pre-season. Her photos are already in mid-season form.

8:10: Colin Phaneuf collides with Mitch Wall.Looked like knee on knee. Both are okay.

8:11: Dominic Perrault is a real Pinchy McGee so far. He's looked good carrying the puck and using his size.

8:14: Jordan Braun (94) ties the score on somewhat a soft-goal. Shot from the right circle that beat the goalie far side. 1-1.

8:16: Tait Bellegarde (94) scores on a nice pass from Ryan Hodebo (He just got here). 2-1 Green.

8:19: Colin Phaneuf reminds me a little of Josh Clare (08-09).

8:21: Brody Malek (also plays for Columbus of the SPHL) makes it 3-1. Shouldn't they be penalized for an ineligible player? Hmmm.

8:22: Was busy blogging, Green makes it 4-1. Tanner Schwab I believe.

8:23: Schwab is beasting out there! Beasting might be my new phrase - At least for tonight.

Period over.

Period 2 (Black vs. White)

7:09 - Finally I see something out of Black that I like - New D-man Jacob Chiblow. Very steady. Still 5-0.

7:11 - Cody Folstad too! He must be 20.

7:14 - Randy Fedler rips a slapper home to give White a 6-0 lead. Black still struggling defensively. Shay Neufeld assisted.

7:15 - Kyle Hall nets a greasy one for Black. Its 6-1. Shutout over for Birch.

7:16 - Still waiting for the first big body-check. Yawn.

7:20 - Team White gets their mojo back. Justin Lund scores, former North Star (Now SPHL pro in Columbus) Mitch Wall with the helper..

7:30 - Shay Neufeld scores again. Its 8-1 for White. 'Neuf' has been the best player on the ice.

7:35 - Game Over. My personal three Star Awards go to:

3) Jacob Chiblow (Black)
2) Nathan Tomac (White)
1) Shay Neufeld (White)

Live From Training Camp

6:15 - Team Black vs. Team White.

6:24 - Shay Neufeld with the first good chance of the game. Better save by goalie Tyler Cockburn.

6:27 - Graham Hildebrand's name was NOT on the training camp roster. Its okay though, he's got a knee injury. He is still very much a North Star.

6:28 - Shay Neufeld with a gorgeous setup to Carter Danczak. 1-0 White. So far Neufeld looks great.

6:31 - Blake Tatchell wraps it around, beats Cockburn. 2-0 White.

6:34 - Some gritty work in the corner by Tomac leads to a one-timer by Ryne Keller. 3-0 White.

6:37 - Kyle Birch looks incredibly poised and confident for White. Team Black are out of sync.

6:39 - Mitch Wall (who's just taking advantage of some ice time) got stoned by Cockburn on a breakaway. C'mon Wallsy, you gotta go backhand deke (Nipawin, playoffs, 2009). Haha.

6:42 - Shay Neufeld walks in alone and roofs one, glove side high. 4-0 Black. Who is gonna end this 0 for Black????

6:43 - Blake Tatchell, two-on-one with Morrissey. Tatchell buries, its 5-0 White. Clearly White has paid off the refs.

6:45 - Ken Oak and I agree that Andrew Peaychew (defenceman) needs to be considered, for his hair alone.Oh, and he is playing well for Team White still up 5-0.

6:54 - Period 1 is over and it was all about Team White. Neufeld, Tomac, Tatchell, Peaychew and Birch get a Gold Star from me.

Training Camp is (Almost) Here!

It's here. Finally.

The Battlefords North Stars kick off their training camp this afternoon at 1:00. Once registration is complete, each team will take the ice for a 45 minute practice, and each team will then scrimmage in the evening. I plan on checking out both scrimmage (6:15 - 7:30 and 7:45 - 9:00) so feel free to stop by and check out the action.

------------

I spoke with Ken Pearson yesterday and here is a shortened transcript of our conversation:

DO: Why don't you first talk about the optimism amongst you and the rest of the coaches regarding training camp?

KP: We're excited to see how our players have responded during the offseason with some of their training, and how they've come back. It's just exciting to get back on the ice, something that everybody has waited along time for. I'm really looking forward to see how these teams compete this weekend.

DO: Were you pleased with your recruiting during the offseason?

KP: Obviously we won some recruiting battles, and lost some recruiting battles, but that's just the way it goes. For the most part we shored up some areas that we were concerned about. Obviously we're still going to have to wait on a few things with some kids away at Major Junior Camp. But the kids that we signed - We're really happy to have gotten them signed.

DO: What is the message going to be to the team tonight and through the weekend:

KP: We don't want guys going through the motions thinking that 'it's just the weekend.' If you wait for that to happen and you think you get a free pass to the pre-season, you're going to be in for a surprise. We want guys competing hard and we want guys working hard all weekend.

DO: How will this camp be different from years past?

KP: 15-20 year olds will all be thrown together in four teams instead of six. We're just going to go with four(teams). We think we're going to have a real competitive camp going that route. We're really happy with our young guys and I think it will give us an opportunity to measure where we are with our young guys and our old guys doing it this way.

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Personally I'm going to focus my attention on the following:

1) The Goaltending Battle.

Perhaps the most intriguing question surrounding this team right now is whether both Graham Hildebrand and Kyle Birch will be in uniform come opening night. It's no secret that both goalies want to start, and (best case scenario) want to stay in the Battlefords. Personally I would love to see both stay, but this is a business, and Ken Pearson is certainly in a position of strength when it comes to a potential deal. The wild-card in this situation is 18-year-old goaltender Lukas McDonald. McDonald is one of several goalies trying to make Ken Pearson's decision even tougher. A strong camp from one of the rookie netminders may help sway Pearson's decision one way or another.

2) The Back-End.

It seems like every season the Stars enter training-camp with some big question-marks on defence. Cody Folstad, Woody Klassen and Dominic Perrault are locks but after that it's a complete crapshoot. Kolten Baptiste showed lots of promise last year, and could easily make this team with a good camp. Kyle Schmidt is at Calgary Hitmen camp, an certainly has the tools to be a defenceman in the WHL. Here's hoping that one or two defenceman can play their way onto this team through an impressive camp.

EDIT: Baptiste is indeed at camp with the OCN Blizzard. Thanks Stars123 for keeping me in the loop.

3) The Rookie Forwards.

Shayne Morrissey, Colin Phaneuf, Tim Rollins, Tanner Schwab, and Kyle Hall are all players that Ken Pearson feels can make this team. You would think that these five players have a 'leg-up' on some of the other rookies at camp. That being said, Pearson said yesterday that nobody's job is safe, and just because he signed these kids doesn't mean they get a free ride.

Morrissey, Phaneuf and Schwab will bring obvious skill to the table while Rollins and Hall should add some grit. It will be an important weekend for these five players in particular.

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I'm going to try and do some live blogging from camp tonight, but we'll see how it goes. Julie will also be taking some photos tonight, so you can anticipate some of those being posted before too long.

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Dane Muench has scored at least twice during Regina Pats' inter-squad games and has been skating on a line with fellow Martensville product Dominic Favreau and Devin Balness.

Again, I'm not there and I don't have a real 'leg to stand on.' But it seems to me that Dane is going to given every opportunity to make this team, and I'd be stunned if he didn't. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Dane's, and I would instantly become a fan of the Regina Pats should he stick.

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We'll see you tonight.