Despite a 4-2 win over the Melville Millionaires Friday, Feb. 5, the Battlefords North Stars weren't happy with their effort level.
The team was looking for, and got, a much better performance Saturday, Feb.6 as they blanked the Yorkton Terriers 3-0 to win their fourth straight game.
The first period was scoreless thanks to a fantastic pad save by North Stars goalie Tyler Fuhr. After stepping around the defender, the Terriers had a 2-on-0 chance below the face-off circles.
A pass from the glove side of Fuhr came to Cole Keenleyside on the blocker side, who one timed the puck as soon as it reached him. Fuhr shot across and got his right pad down against the post to make the great save and keep the game scoreless.
The second period saw more of the same, with both teams having quality chances.
It didn't take long for the physical play to escalate as Troy Gerein and Adam Santoro dropped the gloves mid-way through the second period.
Shortly after the fight, McKenzie Welke was called for interference, giving the North Stars their first power play of the game. Not even 30 seconds after, Regan Seiferling was called for checking from behind, giving the North Stars a lengthy five-on-three power play.
They took the advantage, as Layne Young just missed the net on a tip shot below the left face-off circle. The puck ricocheted off the boards behind the net and out the far side where Igor Leonenko was able to jam it past a sprawling Matt Kustra to make it 1-0 at 12:39.
Late in the period things got a little rough again. With 40 seconds left Kanter threw a massive, chest-to-chest hit on 6'6'' defenceman Kevin Wolf which send him flying into the boards. Immediately, Jordan McCausland dropped his gloves and jumped Kanter, who dropped his gloves to defend himself.
Kanter was given two minutes for boarding and a double minor for roughing while McCausland was given two for instigating, five for fighting and a game misconduct.
Less than 30 seconds later, Corwin Stevely was called for tripping when he upended Fuhr in the North Stars crease, giving the North Stars nearly two minutes of a four-on-three power play to start the third period.
While the North Stars were unable to take advantage on the man advantage, shortly after all the players exited the penalty box they added to their lead.
Reed Delainey and Jordan Townsend found themselves on a two-on-one rush into the Terriers zone. Delainey held onto the puck, stopping at the bottom of the left face-off circle and allowing the Yorkton defender to slide by as he was trying to take away a pass.
Delainey then feathered a pass to Townsend and the puck went off Kustra and into the net, giving the North Stars the all-important 2-0 lead on Delainey's 12th goal of the season at 5:05.
Penalties again came to the forefront when Matthew Perkins was called for high sticking, giving the North Stars another power play.
The number one ranked power play in the league took advantage as Coby Downs fired a wrist shot through the five hole of Kustra from the left face-off circle to make it 3-0.
Fuhr made some nice saves as the clock wound down and the North Stars won their fourth straight game. It was Fuhr's first shutout of the season, and the seventh for the North Stars this season.
The team is now off for 13 days as the 20th annual Jackfish Lake Ice Fishing Derby takes place Saturday, Feb. 13. The North Stars welcome the same Yorkton Terriers to the Civic Centre February 19, as the SJHL regular season enters its final weeks.
On Twitter: @craig_beauch
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