What looked like another Battlefords North Stars shellacking of the Yorkton Terriers turned into a night at the fights Friday at the Civic Centre.
Two big scraps erupted in the third period. One at the 16 minute saw Dayton Heino and Quinten Hobbs absolutely pound one another, with Heino looking like he got the better of Hobbs.
Just 34 seconds after that, Elijah Loon-Stewardson and Cole Keenleyside also dropped the gloves. Both fights resulted in the obvious major-fighting and game misconduct penalties that followed.
Still, it was the highlight of a night in which the North Stars hammered the Terriers 7-4, after beating them 9-1 on the road a week earlier.
The rough stuff wasn't pretty, but it was entertaining. "It's awesome, it's fun to be a part of," admitted head coach Brayden Klimosko.
"That's what North Stars hockey is all about... the boys stuck up for each other, that's the most important thing."
The North Stars took an early lead with Quintin Loon-Stewardson scoring on the power play with Heino assisting. Chantz Petruic and Cody Bruchkowski answered back for Yorkton before Quintin's brother Elijah answered back at the 13:21 mark from Cody Spagrud.
The North Stars took the lead with Macgregor Sinclair's 23rd of the season from Braydon Buziak on the power play at 5:28. Buziak then scored from Sinxclair at 9:15 to give the North Stars a two goal lead, but Colby Brandt got Yorkton back to within one through two periods.
Just 15 seconds into the third period, Seth Summers got his first of the season, with Heino and Elijah Loon-Stewardson assisting. Elijah's goal at the 5:42 mark made it 6-3 and seemed to put the game out of reach.
Petruic's 26th of the season was too late to change the final outcome, and Sinclair closed the scoring with his 24th into an empty net at the 19:37 mark.
Chad Duran got the win in the North Stars net stopping 23 of 27 shots. Andrew Henderson took the loss stopping 26 of 32. The win moved the North Stars to 63 points, two points behind Kindersley in the Global Ag Tech Solutions division. That set up another important game against Nipawin on Sunday, but as Klimosko noted, the "next game" is always most important at this stage of the season.
"They're all are important at this point in time. That's the big thing, is you need wins at this time of year if you want to move up in the standings."
The North Stars also must do without some key members of the team at the moment. Matthias Urbanski is out for likely another four weeks with an upper body injury and with Ryan Gil and Regan Doig's injuries more day-to-day.
"It's a grind," said Klimosko. "Guys are going to have to step up in that place."