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Battlefords Stars battle for two points

Coach Greg Schmidt admits the biggest asset he looks for in hockey players, and a team for that matter, is passion for the game of hockey.

Coach Greg Schmidt admits the biggest asset he looks for in hockey players, and a team for that matter, is passion for the game of hockey.

The Battlefords AAA Stars demonstrated some of that passion on the weekend while earning three of four points in Wilcox against the Notre Dame Hounds.

Saturday, the Stars fell 4-3 in overtime and Sunday they won 3-2, keeping their slim hopes of making the playoffs alive.

Four of the seven goals scored Saturday were on the powerplay, and it wasn't until 1:15 into the second period that either team found the back of the net. Nicholas Mosher put the Hounds up 1-0. Three minutes later, Colby Daniels scored from Colby Cave and Blake Young. Daniels' 11th of the season was scored on the powerplay. Notre Dame responded with a goal from Matthew Sefton. Three minutes later and on another powerplay, Ryne Keller evened the score with his fifth of the season from Jesse Gerbig and Dylan Fluter. Then, while playing four-on-four, Notre Dame scored with a second left in the second to reclaim the lead and skated into the break with a 3-2 lead.

Cody Thiel scored from Cave and Jeff Olson midway through the third period and for the third time the Stars battled to tie the game. The powerplay goal was Thiel's sixth of the season.

The goalies were strong and overtime was needed. As less than three minutes remained in the extra period, the Hounds' Ian Williams beat Blair Mahon and earned the win.

Mahon made 23 saves in the loss while Ty Reichenbach was named the Hounds' game star with his 29 save performance.

Cave, who had two assists, was the Stars' game star.

The Stars were 3/11 on the powerplay and Notre Dame finished 1/6.

Sunday, the Stars created more powerplay opportunities and capitalized once, as they battled to a 3-2 win.

Daniels started the scoring midway through the first, as Gerbig and Robin Yew had the assists. After one period, the North Stars led just 1-0 despite outshooting the Hounds 17-7 in the first.

In the second, the Battlefords added to the lead when Thiel scored from Dillon Forbes and Daniels on the powerplay.

Daniel Wanner scored in the third period to get the Hounds on the board, but later, with the Hounds' goalie pulled, Theil scored his third of the weekend with goalie Regan Santoro earning the assist.

The Hounds scored a powerplay goal with six seconds left, but it wasn't enough, as the Stars won 3-2 and beat the Hounds for the second time this season.

Theil was the Stars' game star while Reichenbach was once again the stars for the Hounds, as he made 30 saves.

Santoro made 21 saves for his fifth win of the season matching Mahon's win total. The two Stars' goalies are also close in GAA, save percentage and saves as Mahon has stopped 597 this season and Santoro has made 590 saves in 173 more minutes played.

The Stars move into the final month of the season with a 10-26-1-1 record and in 11th place. One more Stars' loss or a Yorkton win will officially eliminate the Battlefords from the playoff picture.

The Stars start their desperation February schedule Saturday and Sunday in Moose Jaw. The next home game will be their final home game of the season, as they host the Saskatoon Contacts Tuesday at the Civic Centre.