The Battlefords North Stars were back in preseason action this weekend for three games, once again all versus Alberta opponents.
It began with a Friday night game at the Civic Centre against the Lloydminster Bobcats, a 3-0 result for their first win of the preseason, followed by road contests Saturday in Lloydminster and then Sunday versus Bonnyville Pontiacs in Bonnyville.
North Stars 3 Lloydminster 0
The North Stars were clearly interested in getting into the win column after a disappointing 7-5 loss to Bonnyville on Monday.
They started the game at the Civic Centre on fire in the shots department, outshooting the Bobcats 16-3 in the first period.
But they did not score until the second period, when a breakaway goal by Austin Becker opened the scoring at the 6:48 mark.
The North Stars made it 2-0 with just two seconds remaining in the period on a power play goal by Riley Girod.
Late in the third period, a four-minute high sticking penalty to Gunner Kinniburgh gave the North Stars a two man advantage and they capitalized as Kaden Boser scored to make the final score 3-0.
The final shot count favored the North Stars, 34-24. Goaltenders Adam Dmyterko and Parker Rey earned a combined 24-save shutout.
Lloydminster 3 North Stars 0
Saturday night’s rematch was “$1 admission Saturday” at Centennial Civic Centre in Lloydminster.
Bobcats fans surely came away from the game feeling the ticket price was a dollar well spent, as the home team beat the North Stars 3-0 in what was the preseason finale for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats got scoring in every period of the game, from Tyler Schendel in the first, Alex Danis in the second and Kris Bladen in the third. Shots on goal favoured the Bobcats 36-35.
Bonnyville 4 North Stars 3
The North Stars final game of the preseason was in Bonnyville, and it was the Pontiacs who capitalized first as Matthew McKim scored to make it 1-0. But Logan Spence tied it up on the power play to make it 1-1 through one.
In the second, Ryland McNinch gave the North Stars a lead, and then Kaden Boser extended the margin to 3-1.
But things went south after that. Bonnyville responded with two of their own to make it 3-3 through two periods, and then added one more in the third to pull out the 4-3 win.
The North Stars finished the preseason with one win and three defeats, with all the games against AJHL opposition.
A busy week is ahead for the North Stars, who look forward to the announcement of their roster and of their leadership group of captains/assistant captains at their Wednesday season kickoff breakfast. That will be at the Civic Centre starting at 7 a.m. in the morning.
The North Stars open the SJHL regular season Friday on the road in Kindersley before hosting their home opener Saturday, also against the Klippers.