North Stars look for continued road success

February 5, 2016 - 7:48am

The Battlefords North Stars head down east for a pair of games this weekend against the Melville Millionaires and Yorkton Terriers. It's the final overnight road trip of the regular season for the North Stars, who are 9-4-1-0 in games they've played during overnight road trips this season.

If recent history holds up, the North Stars should pick up two more wins this weekend as they're 3-0 against Melville and 2-0 against Yorkton, picking up a win on the road against each team. The last time the North Stars were in Melville they found themselves down 2-0 late in the first period, but scored with seconds left on the clock in the first before scoring three power play goals in the second en route to a 5-4 win. The following night they were in Yorkton where they pounded the Terriers with a 7-1 victory.

There's a chance the North Stars game against Yorkton is a first round playoff preview, as the Terriers currently hold the 10th and final playoff spot. They would play the Kinderlsey Klippers in a survivor series if the playoffs started today, which is a winnable series for Yorkton.

The thing the North Stars need to be ready for against these two teams is they are battling for their playoff lives. Melville trails Yorkton by eight points for that final playoff spot, while the Terriers have a seven point lead on 11th place Humboldt. You know both teams will come out with strong efforts fighting to secure playoff positions.

I personally think Melville goalie Brandon Wells is one of the better goalies in the league, despite playing on a poor Millionaires squad. When the North Stars were in Melville last, they may have scored five goals but it could have easily been eight or nine if it weren't for his stellar goaltending.

As for Yorkton, they have so much young, high-profile talent it's almost unfair. The Welke twins, Carson and McKenzie, are both 1999-born players, the only full-time players who began the season at 16 years old. They turned 17 on January 2. Yorkton only has one 1995-born player on their team, Kailum Gervais, who has two SJHL championships and an RBC cup title under his belt.

The Terriers proficiency on the man-advantage is also frightening as they are clicking at a 29.9 per cent efficiency at the Farrell Agencies Arena.

These are two games the North Stars should win based on past match-ups and standings wise, but there's a reason you play the games. The Broncos have beaten the Melfort Mustangs twice this season, who's to say the Mils or Terriers can't knock off the North Stars?

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