Fransoo set to return for game 1 of finals

By Nathan Kanter
April 14, 2017 - 12:08pm

The North Stars will have their captain Kendall Fransoo back tonight for game one of the finals against Flin Flon.

The 20-year-old has been out since injuring his knee in a regular season game against Kindersley on Feb. 22.

He has been practicing for a while and this week had been going full throttle.

"I [feel] pretty good, pretty excited," he said after Friday's gameday skate. "It means a lot to see how well the team did without me."

After losing Fransoo in the first few minutes of that game on Feb. 22, the team beat Kindersley 5-1 and then finished the year with a 3-1 record without him. In the playoffs, they have gone a perfect 8-0 without the veteran of 270 career regular season and playoff games.

This season, Fransoo had a career high 33 points, including 10 goals, both of which were top-10 in the league. He was nominated for SJHL defenceman of the year, but lost out to Flin Flon's Eric Sinclair.

It's clear that Fransoo, along with the entire team, is ready to go after a 10-day break between series.

"I think I'm just going to go out there and give it my best," Fransoo said. "Try my hardest. Sacrifice whatever I can."

North Stars head coach Nate Bedford said the most important thing with Fransoo was making sure he was absolutely healthy again before putting him back in the lineup.

"He doesn't have any pain and his mobility is just about back to where it normally is," Bedford said. "He's in no harm of re-injuring or re-hurting himself and that's the most important thing – his health comes first. He's been given a clean bill of health so we'll move forward."

Fransoo will begin tonight paired alongside assistant captain Connor Sych.

The two played together for much of the season.

"[Fransoo] is going to start with Sych but we might limit his ice depending on how he's feeling," Bedford said. "It's been a while since he's played a game so we're just going to play it shift by shift and see how he does."

Fransoo is one of 14 current North Stars also on last year's team that was knocked out by the Bombers in the semifinals in last year's playoffs.

He said it doesn't mean too much to get an opportunity to get back at them because the team's only goal is to get four more wins and bring home a championship.

"It's nice but I think if we focus too hard on that we're going to lose sight of what we're here for," Fransoo said. "All we need is four wins and that's all we're focused on and we're going to do it."



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