A tight race throughout the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League got even tighter Sunday evening when the Battlefords North Stars went to Nipawin and knocked off the top-ranked team in the league.
The North Stars built a 3-0 lead and held off a Nipawin comeback to win 4-3. For the North Stars, it was a crucial road win to keep pace with Humboldt and Kindersley in the division race. They will also have to get used to winning on the road.
"We've got to be road warriors," said coach Brayden Klimosko prior to the latest road trip. The North Stars aren't back at the Civic Centre until March.
In Nipawin, the North Stars wasted no time. They got on the board 17 seconds in, as Owen Lamb scored his 21st of the season from Braydon Buziak and Macgregor Sinclair to make it 1-0.
Cody Spagrud's goal made it 2-0 at the 3:42 mark, Sinclair and Lamb assisting again. Then Lamb scored at 6:32 from Buziak and Sinclair to make it 3-0 North Stars through one.
In the second, Colten Gerlib got the lone goal for Nipawin from Christian Bosa and Zach Ziegler to cut it to 3-1.
In the third Jordan Simoneau cut the margin to one goal from Penner and Misskey to make it 3-2. But Spagrud restored the two-goal cushion from Lamb and Buziak at 6:37 to make it 4-2.
Jeremy Bissons power play goal, from Jake Tremblay and Zach ZIegler, narrowed it to 4-3, but that would be all as the North Stars held on the rest of the way for the win. Joel Grzybowski stopped 17 of 20 shots to get the win for the North Stars; Declan Hobbs stopped 14 of 18 to take the loss for the Hawks.
The North Stars now have 28 wins on the season and 65 points, two back of the Kindersley Klippers in the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division. The team now has a few days off until they go back on the road Friday against Kindersley.