North Stars fall to Bombers in tight rematch

By Nathan Kanter
January 14, 2018 - 6:06am

The Battlefords North Stars let two separate leads slip away on Friday night against the Flin Flon Bombers but still came away with an overtime victory.

In the rematch on Saturday, they let a 2-0 lead slip away yet again, but this time came away empty handed following a 4-3 regulation loss.

"We had a 10-minute lull in the second period and that was the difference," North Stars head coach Brandon Heck said following the team's sixth regulation loss of the season in 36 games. "We give up a bad bounce goal where it hits the shin pads and goes in and we sit there and sulk and don't get ready for the faceoff. And before we know it we're tied at two, when we've had control the whole game. Good lesson though. I'm happy it happened now instead of later on."

After the Bombers tied it 2-2 with two goals in a seven-second span, they went up 3-2 late in the second frame.

North Stars veteran Chaseton Braid tied it 3-3 early in the third, but Dylan Burton scored the eventual game-winner for Flin Flon with 10:37 to go in the game.

The North Stars outshot the Bombers 34-25 overall, including 11-5 in the first and 13-8 in the third.

"I thought we had a ton of good looks," Heck said. "Tip your hat to their goalie for sure. We've got to bare down. Two of their goals, we blocked a shot but it deflected off us and goes in. That's hockey. We've got a lot of bounces this year and we're due for some bad ones."

The North Stars are now 28-6-2 this season and have still gone 16-3-1 in their last 20 games.

They have a 10-point cushion on first place in their division with two games in hand on Notre Dame.

On Saturday, the power play continued to be an area of concern, as it went 0-for-6, after going 0-for-6 on Friday as well.

This season, the team's power play is now seventh in the league, at 18.1 per cent.

"We haven't had any time to practice with our new guys and it showed [on the power play]," Heck said. "We're close. Just need to refine it and I think it'll take off."

On the defensive side of things, Heck was pleased with what his club gave up.

"We limited their chances," he said. "I'm not remembering too many. A breakaway in the first period and other than that, it was broken plays."

Bombers goalie Brenden Newton made 31 saves on 34 shots for the win, one night after making 37 saves in his team's overtime loss.

Taryn Kotchorek made 21 saves on Saturday, and his record drops to 11-5-2 this year.

Matthias Urbanski, Cole Johnson, and Levi Kleiboer all had multi-point nights for the North Stars.

Battlefords is next in action Friday night in Yorkton when they take on the Terriers.


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