It is game on for the defending Canalta Cup champion Battlefords North Stars in 2019-20.
The North Stars opened their season this weekend against their traditional rivals the Kindersley Klippers. They began the campaign Friday night by erasing an early deficit to deliver a 7-1 thumping of the Klippers on the road.
Saturday was the long-awaited home opener at the Civic Centre which included presentation of the championship banner by SJHL president Bill Chow to captain Matthew Fletcher. What followed was a wild, penalty-filled affair where neither team was at their best, but the North Stars still pulled out the 7-4 win.
"Obviously it's not the prettiest at times," admitted head coach Brayden Klimosko. He said the team was undisciplined at times, but was happy they got the win.
"You know, that's part of junior hockey in September at times. But we were able to pull them out and at the end of the year, they don't show you how you do them, it's just the numbers. To get two wins over the weekend you can't really complain."
North Stars 7 Klippers 4
The North Stars wasted no time getting on the board. With Kindersley's Brendon Borbely in the box for boarding, Austin Becker scored at the 1:44 mark from Ryland McNinch and Matthew Fletcher.
But the Klippers answered back on Zach Ziegler's power play goal with Elijah Loon-Stewardson in the box for tripping. It was 1-1 after one period.
In the second period the two teams exploded for three goals each. Seth Summers gave the North Stars the 2-1 lead at the 5:17 mark, but the Klippers tied it on a power play goal by Austin Nault.
The North Stars then added two goals for a 4-2 lead, with Steven Kesserling and Quintin Loon-Stewardson both scoring. But the Klippers answered back on a power play goal by Liam Fraser with Kaden Boser in the box for a blow to the head penalty, and then with two minutes remaining Damon McKenzie knotted it up at 4-4.
The North Stars finally took the lead to stay in the third period on goals by Austin Becker -- his third of the season -- and late goals by Ryland McNinch and Dace Prymak (into the empty net) for the 7-4 win. After the game Coach Klimosko was very happy with Becker's early season performance.
"He's been great. He came into camp into shape, and it's showing up for him. He's doing a great job."
Final shots favored the North Stars 36-33, with Adam Dmyterko getting the win.
North Stars 7 Klippers 1 (Friday)
The Battlefords North Stars made short work of the Kindersley Klippers in their season opening game Friday night on the road.
It was the Klippers who got on the board first with a goal from Kyle Bosch on the power play in the first period. But Matthew Fletcher tied it at 1-1 from Brett Gammer and Dylan Esau with 2:09 left in the first. It was 1-1 after one period.
In the second Esau scored unassisted midway through the period, and then late in the period Quintin Loon-Stewardson extended the lead to 3-1 with Kaden Boser assisting.
The North Stars broke it wide open in period three with goals from Boser on the power play, Brett Gammer, Austin Becker and newcomer Rylan Nivon. Adam Dmyterko stopped 33 of 34 shots for the win. Zach Johnson was chased out of the Klippers net after the fifth North Stars goal; Hudson Killam finished the game for Kindersley.
Now with two wins in the books to start the regular season the North Stars get a few days to rest up from the weekend action. Next action for the North Stars is Saturday night at home to the Estevan Bruins.