North Stars all over Klippers in dominant home performance

By Nathan Kanter
January 30, 2018 - 11:50pm

Another strong second period helped propel the Battlefords North Stars over the Kindersley Klippers in dominant fashion on Tuesday night at the Civic Centre.

The North Stars got goals from five different players, scored at least once in each period, and outshot the Klippers by at least double in each frame as well, en route to their 5-0 thumping.

The final shots on goal were 48-19 for Battlefords.

"We didn't have a bad player out there tonight," North Stars assistant coach Boyd Wakelin said in the post-game interview on CJNB/CJNS. "Everyone stuck to their role and did what they had to do to get us the win.

"They continued to work for each other and support each other. There was good support all over the ice."

While Keith Anderson, Brad Girard, Conor Jensen, Cole Johnson, and Garan Magnes did all find the back of the net in the lopsided win, it did take a bit for the North Stars to get going.

They only led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play, but got three second period goals to take a comfortable 4-0 lead into the third.

Although the North Stars outshot the Klippers 14-4 in the first period, Wakelin said his team didn't really dominant the opening frame that badly.

"I don't think we had that many dangerous [shots]," Wakelin said. "There were lots of trying to shoot high and pick corners, rather than just get a shot on net and get there with traffic, and I think we did a good job of addressing that in the second and third."

One of the biggest positives was surely their defensive effort.

The Klippers had four shots in the first, eight in the second, and seven in the third.

Among those shots, there were few high quality scoring chances given up.

"Good support from our fowards, coming back into the end and being options, being outlets," Wakelin explained. "I thought we did a good job with the transition game."

That being said, Wakelin pointed out that didn't mean goaltender Taryn Kotchorek had the night off.

In fact, about a minute into the second period, Kotchorek made an absolutely spectacular save on Bordy Ryberg to keep the North Stars in front 1-0.

"I'd say save of the year candidate," Wakelin said of the stop. "He had a couple huge saves for us. If he doesn't make those saves, you don't know how the momentum swing is going to go. So it was another game where, yeah, you look at the score and you look at the shots, and you think 'Oh, easy shutout,' but he did a great job."

All three of Kotchorek's shutouts this season have now come against Kindersley.

At the other end of the ice, the North Stars' power play begun the contest 0-for-6, but did eventually score late in the second period and halfway through the third.

Entering Tuesday's action, the man advantage was operating at an ugly 4-for-36 mark the last eight games, but it finished 2-for-9 against Kindersley.

Wakelin said when the team was letting power play chances go by early on, there wasn't too much concern.

"I wasn't too worried because we were controlling the play," he said. "It was just, again, having to get a little hungrier, start looking towards the net rather than looking for where the next path is going to be and just getting pucks on net."

One individual performance Wakelin highlighted was the play of defenceman Cody Spagrud, who rushed the puck well, ate tons of minutes, and most importantly, stood up for teammate Elijah Loon-Stewardson, who was rocked with a blind side hit at centre ice.

"He got that up tempo game going for us and stepped up fighting for a teammate," Wakelin said of Spagrud. "He's been an ultimate competitor. I've leaned on him a ton when we've been struggling a bit back there when we've had injuries and stuff so he plays a lot of minutes for us."

Eddie May was given a five-minute major for the hit, while Loon-Stewardson was able to stay in the game and play a couple shifts late in the third period..

The North Stars next hit the ice on Friday, when they welcome the Estevan Bruins to town. The last meeting was a 3-2 loss in Estevan on Dec. 1.

The Bruins lost to Humboldt 2-0 on Tuesday.

"They're an up tempo team," Wakelin said. "They score lots of goals. I always personally hate playing good teams, especially after they're coming off a loss like that, because you know you're going to get their best effort."

On Saturday, Melville comes to town.


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