North Stars blow late lead; fall in overtime to Bruins

By Nathan Kanter
September 23, 2017 - 10:29pm Updated: September 23, 2017 - 11:29pm

The Battlefords North Stars had a 3-2 lead with five minutes to go in the third period of Saturday's home game against the Estevan Bruins, but they couldn't hold on.

Matthew Chekay tipped in a Nolan Ferguson point shot with 4:18 to go in the third to force overtime and Zach Goberis lifted a backhander over Taryn Kotchorek's glove 1:59 into the extra frame to give the visitors a 4-3 overtime win.

"They took it to us. They outplayed us. Their d-zone was a lot cleaner than ours," North Stars head coach Brandon Heck said following the team's first loss of 2017-18. "They wanted to make plays in the d-zone and play in our end. We weren''t willing to sacrifice and we didn't have enough guys that wanted to be difference makers."

Heck was upset with the number of turnovers over the course of the game.

"We made the mistakes and they've got the guys that punish you for sure but I thought we made too many mistakes," Heck said. "Taryn [Kotchorek] was our best player tonight."

Kotchorek made 24 saves on 28 shots in what was his first loss since January 29, 2017 against the Nipawin Hawks. He had 17 straight wins between then and last weekend's wins over Kindersley, including the playoffs and regular season.

The North Stars are now 2-0-1 this season, after starting the year with back-to-back wins over Kindersley.

Estevan lost to Kindersley on Friday night and now sit at 3-1 on the year.

Layne Young had yet another impressive showing, leading the North Stars with two goals, while Connor McIntosh also found the back of the net in his first game of the season after serving a suspension.

Hayden Guilderson and Michael McChesney also added goals for the Bruins.

The North Stars will play two more games in less than 48 hours, as they take on the Melville Millionaires at the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Showcase in Saskatoon on Sunday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. and then meet the Bruins again on Monday morning at the showcase at 10 a.m. All SJHL showcase games count in the regular season standings.

Sunday's game will be on 93.3 the Rock beginning with the Ultra Print pre-game show at 4 p.m., while Monday's game will be on CJNB/CJNS, beginning at 9:45 p.m.

 

nathan.kanter@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @NathanKanter11

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