The Battlefords North Stars blew open a tight contest with the Melfort Mustangs in the late going to win game one of the Canalta Cup finals 6-2.
The final score was deceptive, however, as the first two periods proved as tightly-fought as the rest of the playoffs have been for the North Stars during this whole playoff run.
"We came out slow, it felt like, but the second and third were really good," said head coach Brayden Klimosko after the game.
"Overall, we've got to be happy with the result, I know (Melfort) will be coming out firing again tomorrow."
Joel Grzybowski once again was a rock in net for the North Stars as he extended his shutout streak into the third period. With the score 2-0, a goal by Melfort's Jake Hobson finally broke the streak in the third period. The streak was estimated by the SJHL to have lasted an amazing 241 minutes and 38 seconds.
The game was scoreless for the entire first half of the game, but the action was intense with plenty of hitting. The North Stars looked fresh and ready to go after their long layoff since the sweep of Yorkton.
The first and second periods were at a stalemate until Noah Form broke the deadlock at the 11:44 mark.Quintin Loon-Stewardson got the assist.
Ryan Gil made it 2-0 at the 14:39 mark, Macgregor Sinclair assisting, and it seemed the North Stars had a stranglehold at that point, leading after two periods.
After Melfort got on the board in the third period, the North Stars restored their two goal lead as Owen Lmb scored his first of the postseason.
But Tyson Meyers made it 3-2 at the 12:37 mark of the third, and it stayed close until late in the third period when the North Stars blew the game open.
A goal from Sinclair opened the floodgates at the 18:18 mark; that was followed by Quintin Loon-Stewardson scoring into an empty net, and then with Noah Giesbrecht back in the net Dayton Heino finished the scoring with a sixth Stars goal.
Final shots favored the North Stars on the night 38 to 35.
For the North Stars, their playoff win streak this postseason now sits at six in a row. Game two of the Cup finals goes Saturday night right back at the Civic Centre, with both teams headed to Melfort for games Tuesday and Wednesday. Follow the News-Optimist Twitter account @TheNewsOptimist for live Tweets throughout this series.