Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stars Earn A Dramatic Split With a 5-4 Win.

All weekend, Tony Oak and Ashton Bernard were the talk of the town in Flin Flon, but after Saturday, Oak is now the toast of the town. The 20-year-old forward answered the bell in every aspect and then some, and his team came away victorious.

Late in the first period, Oak dropped the gloves with the highly-touted Bernard. Both combatants seemed to land their share of punches and both fell to the ice together. But when the returned to their feet, it was obvious who won the fight. A bloodied Bernard returned to the lockerroom to get stitched up, while Oak saluted the fans and got everybody warmed up for what turned into an absolute classic battle from a North Star's perspective.

Cole Gibson got the Stars up 1-0 on the power-play when he re-directed a Cris Neurauter point shot past PJ Musico. It was the first lead for the Stars all weekend.

The Bombers found their answer on the power-play as well. Who else but Andrew Johnston, fresh off a three-point game Friday, put away his first of three goals on the night. The two teams were tied 1-1 after one. The Stars lost the services of Mitch Galbraith for the next two periods due to a hit-from-behind on Cameron Blair and a game-misconduct.

Early in the second, Flin Flon took a 2-1 lead when Deven Stillar converted on a power-play.

The Stars bounced back moments later with Cole Gibson's second of the night. Collectively the trio of Cole Gibson, Blake Tatchell and Colin Phaneuf were a lot better, and all three were directly involved in Gibson's tally.

Just over two minutes later Kyle Hall put-home a Braedon Johnson pass to help the Stars regain their lead 3-2. Brody Luhning then added a power-play marker and the Stars were in control. The game was far from over.

Andrew Johnston's second of the night (four-on-four) helped dwindle the Star's lead to one, and after 40 minutes the Stars led 4-3.

The third period did not start well for the Stars who quickly found themselves on the penalty-kill. After a successful kill, they ended up short-handed again a few minutes later and Johnston once again made them pay.

Enter Tony Oak. Every shift this weekend, Oak was verbally pestered by the fans, and quite often the players. Oak started his shift with a hit on Deven Stillar. The fans wanted a penalty, and maybe they even had a case. But there was no call and play continued. Oak then stunned the Whitney Forum crowd with a one-timer from the high-slot that fooled Musico, and the Stars once again held the lead. Out of pure frustration, Deven Stillar snapped, said some things to the officials that were not well received, and was booted from the game.

Making matters worse was the fact that Tanner Korchinski had a goal-disallowed due to goaltender interference from Andrew Johnston. Johnston was kicked out, and will likely be suspended due to the fact that it was Flin Flon's second goalie-interference penalty of the night, which automatically garners a suspension through the Junior A Supplement.
Even in the final minute, Flin Flon made it interesting. Down a skater due to a 'too-many men on the ice,' Bomber's forward Brett Penner grabbed a defensive turnover and raced in on Kyle Birch. Birch put the stamp on a great outing with a right-pad save.

With the win, the Battlefords North Stars leap-frog the Bombers and are once again seeded fourth in the Bauer Conference. They finished two-for-eight on the powerplay, while outshooting the Bombers 46-29 (according to the rink).

The Stars and Bombers meet again on Tuesday night at the North Battleford Civic Center. If this weekend was any indication, fans are going to be in for a heck of a game, and ultimately a heck of a Bauer Conference playoff matchup.


This was a broadcast that I won't soon forget. I truly hope that my cell-phone was able to do it justice. I have a lot more that I want to say, but my cell has had a busy night, and deserves a little TLC.


Anonymous said...

Glad the Stars were able to bounce back and win the 2nd game. Next game is going to be exciting! Hope the CC is packed with Stars fans!
Noticed on the game sheet that Stiller took two 10-minute misconducts. There is a rule that states if you get two in a game, you get a game misconduct as well. Does not show on the on-line scorekeeping. Did the ref miss that one or was it missed on the gamesheet?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Oak retained his SJHL heavy weight belt with a decision over Bernard last night.

Anonymous said...

I was impressed with Woody's hits last night. It was good to see that part of his game again. Tatchell also had a goal that was disallowed. I was watching online and the goal light came on well before the net even moved. It was really nice to see the Stars stay as disciplined as they did. Ya, they took some penalties, but most of those penalties were ones that prevented goals. What I don't understand is how they allow this one fan to remain in the building?! All you could hear is him yelling and swearing. Is there no rule about being booted from the arena for screaming profanities? Congrats Stars on keeping your cool and playing your game!!

Knox Tox said...

Wish we could get a gander at Bernard here in the south before season's end . Sounded like him and Oak will have more than a few chances to get reacquainted during the selection series! I really like this rivalry!

Anonymous said...

Once again it takes oak to motivate the team, not only by his fighting but his play in general. I think the wrong letter is on his jersey. It would be totally sensless to fight again and risk getting suspended this team needs him in the line up if they are going to go anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Oak/Bernard fight was close except Bernard was cut. Not sure you win a fight because you cut your opponent. Tony got a couple of early shoots in however Ashton hit Tony with more before Bernard wrestled Tony down.
Good one timer by Oak for the game winner.

Anonymous said...

Tony threw about 7 punches; 5 of which were square in Bernard's face. Bernard threw about the same amount of punches but they mostly landed on the back of Tony's head or on the back of his sweater. Ya I don't know if you win a fight for cutting your opponent, but you sure do win it if you send them to the hospital for stitches!!

Anonymous said...

The story in Flin Flon after viewing game video is that Tony Oak missed a punch but elbow connected to Bernard 's visor. In any event there will be different views of the fight and outcome depending on your team preference. One thing for sure is this will not be the last fight for these two.

Anonymous said...

There was so much more to that game then the Oak-Bernard fight. I was impressed with Woody's physical play, the Stars offense was clicking, peppering the goal went beyond the 1st period this time, there didn't appear to be as many odd man rushes, Birch was aggressive (and maybe a little too chatty with the other team - I think you are inviting trouble Ky;e) and the overall team stamina was there - never giving up - I like to see it. I was impressed by the discipline while playing in that rink. I hope to see more of the same on Tuesday. Go Stars!

Anonymous said...

The stars definetly out played ff in the first, but one goal because Birch is way out of his crease and 2 interferences because of the samething. This gets 2 of ff top players ejected. It's all on video. When is the SJHL gonna get some even half decent refs. Sick of the refs determining the outcome of the game.
P.S. This is going to be a long rough battle right to the end and if Birch keeps doing this he will likely be hurt before to long.
P.s.s. Tony didn't win the fight, getting cut from a viser isn't winning and bernard was on top on the ice. Stupid rules not being able to drop the lids with out suspensions. Sure we will see another one.