The Battlefords North Stars had not lost on home ice since Jan. 9, and were looking on Saturday to win their third playoff game at the Civic Centre.
They did just that with a 3-1 win in game five against the Kindersley Klippers, advancing to the second round.
In front of a crowd of over 1,400 people, it was actually the Klippers who opened the scoring as Dexter Bricker took advantage of an unfortunate bounce.
A pass to the point bounced off the stick of Jordan Weist and allowed Bricker to come flying down the left wing. He quickly fired a shot over the glove of Tyler Fuhr to open the scoring 9:43 into the game.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, it didn't take long for the North Stars to answer in the second.
Coby Downs left the puck for Layne Young along the left wing boards as Young was galloping up the wing. Igor Leonenko was charging down the other side, and Young sent the puck cross ice for Leonenko to one time it past Nathan Hargrave and tie the game.
The North Stars had a great opportunity to put the game away with a five-minute penalty to Sam Chatterley for charging as he hammered the North Stars goaltender into the boards from behind, but were unable to capitalize.
With the score deadlocked at one, it took until halfway through the third for the puck to end up in the back of the net, and it couldn't have been any more dramatic.
Young found himself on a partial break into the Klippers end, but was upended by Clive Rozdeba as he dove to try and knock the puck away. After a slight delay on the call, the official pointed to centre ice to signal a penalty shot.
Young came down the middle of the ice and faked forehand before going to the backhand and beating Hargrave to give the North Stars a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Late in the game the North Stars received a four-mintue power play as Cody Young high sticked Rory Davidson, drawing blood. It took just 10 seconds for the North Stars to put the game away as Leonenko's backhand centring pass deflected through the legs of Hargrave to make it 3-1.
The Klippers valiantly tried to close the gap, but the North Stars stood tall as they held on for the 3-1 victory to advance to the second round.
The North Stars will now play the Flin Flon Bombers in the semi-finals of the Canalta Cup playoffs. The Bombers eliminated the Weyburn Red Wings with a 3-1 win in game five Saturday night to book their ticket to the second round.
The North Stars have only played the Bombers once in a seven-game series, winning in five games in 2006 in the opening round.
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