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Ice Wolves hammer North Stars with five-goal third period

League also outlines its proof of vaccination requirements for attending Friday's games
Hockey net
Here is the latest news from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

LA RONGE - The early season road woes continue on for the Battlefords North Stars who follow up an overtime loss in Kindersley with a full-on blowout loss in La Ronge to the Ice Wolves.

It was a five-goal barrage in the third period that lifted the Ice Wolves to an 8-3 win.

Still, it had been a close game most of the way as the North Stars fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie the game at 3-3, only for the roof to fall in in period three.

La Ronge got the scoring started with goals from Nolan Doell and Holden Knights in the first. Kevin-Thomas Walters got one back for the North Stars at 9:59 and it was 2-1 through one.

La Ronge restored the two goal lead at 5:14 of the second with Ryley Morgan’s first of the season, from Knights and Doell. But the North Stars regrouped to tie the game at 3-3 on goals by Ryland McNinch at 12:03 and then Steven Kesslering at 15:42.

Then came the third period, and La Ronge got three quick goals back to back to back to blow open the game. Andrew Blocker gave La Ronge the lead at 2:27 and then Bryan Gilman added one more 20 seconds later. Then at 3:12 Gavin Mattey added one more for a 6-3 lead. For all three players it was fheir first goals of the season.

Mattey then got his second of the game unassisted at the 4:56 mark, and got an assist on Brandon Della Paolera’s goal at 16:21 with Walker Jerome getting the other assist, for an 8-3 final score.

Normally a 52-save performance would be considered a strong outing for any goaltender. Unfortunately for North Stars netminder Cameron Beson, he was shelled for 60 shots from the Ice Wolves, compared to 39 for Dawson Smith. He got the win for La Ronge with 36 saves.

The game was played on Canada's National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, and there were commemorations in recognition of the occasion. It included a drum song performed by drummers from Stanley Mission, and also a Cree rendition of the national anthem.

Both teams have a quick turnaround time before their next games. The Ice Wolves are back in action at home Friday against their rivals Flin Flon. The North Stars returned home to Access Communications Centre, where they are undefeated so far this season, as they face their division rivals the Humboldt Broncos.

For both teams as well as the rest of the league, it marks their first home contests under the new proof of vaccination rules imposed by the provincial government.

The SJHL has issued the following guidelines to fans prior to their games Friday night:

Masks are required for everyone attending the games.

All fans will be required to provide proof of vaccination, meaning receiving your second dose two weeks prior to the game.

Volunteers outside the door will check your vaccine verification or your verified negative test, prior to your entering the building to purchase your ticket. One piece of photo ID is also required.

On site rapid tests will not be available. Rapid tests must be done by a certified supplier: Quantum Genetics, Haztech or Nobel.

The negative test must be less than 72 hours old to be valid. There will not be onsite testing available.

Finally, the SJHL is following the Public Health Orders in order to keep fans, volunteers, players and coaches and communities as safe as possible.

The North Stars have posted further details regarding their proof of vaccination requirements for Friday’s game at their Facebook page.