Neither rain nor sleet nor, in this case, snow could keep the Nipawin Hawks from their appointed rounds at the Civic Centre Wednesday.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t such good news for Battlefords North Stars fans who braved the elements to come to the game, because their home team ended up 4-1 losers on home ice to the Hawks.
The big story was the winter storm conditions that had ravaged roads around the area. There were questions about whether the game might go ahead given the conditions, but those were put to rest quickly as the North Stars confirmed on Facebook that the Hawks had arrived the previous night after playing in Kindersley.
It was a different story in Melfort. The bad weather prevented the Flin Flon Bombers from arriving and forced a postponement of the game between the Mustangs and the Bombers, which meant the North Stars-Hawks contest was the only one in the league that night.
The North Stars ended up dominating the shot count, outshooting the Hawks 37-21 on the night but seemed to suffer from bad bounces and bad luck the entire game.
The Hawks’ Carson Erhardt opened the scoring with 1:31 left in the first period. In the second, the North Stars tried desperately to draw even. On one play Ben Hiltz broke free of the Nipawin defence but his shot was stuff by goaltender Ross Hawryluk.
Around the seven minute mark of the period, the North Stars managed a three-on-one break, only for Matthias Urbanski’s shot to rattle off the iron. Later on, Elijah Loon-Stewardson missed a wide-open net with the goalie down.
Finally, a Jason Steele power play goal tied the game at 1-1. Unfortunately, that would be the high point of the night for the North Stars.
Jeremy Bisson’s goal went off the post and in with three minutes left in the period to restore the Hawks’ lead. Jordan Simoneau made it 3-1 with 8:17 left in the third. Finally, the Hawks burned the North Stars on a turnover with 1:47 remaining as Dawson McKenzie scored unassisted.
Parker Rey took the loss in net for the North Stars, stopping 17 of 21.
After the game there were no excuses from coach Brayden Klimosko, in particular when discussing all the missed North Stars chances in the game.
“The game is funny that way,” said Klimosko. “When the bounces go your way, it’s probably because you probably worked hard, and when you haven’t worked hard you aren’t going to get those bounces… so yeah, it is what it is. It’s a tough pill to swallow but that’s the way she takes.”
So after a five game winning streak it is back to the drawing board for the North Stars. They do have a few days off until their game next Tuesday on the road in Notre Dame and Wednesday in Melville. Their next home game is Friday, Jan. 17 against La Ronge.