NORTH BATTLEFORD - It was an unexpected home-and-home series between the Battlefords North Stars and Kindersley Klippers this weekend.
It was unexpected because it was the Flin Flon Bombers who were to be the North Stars’ scheduled opponents at home Saturday and Sunday. With the Bombers on pause due to COVID-19 protocols, the Klippers were brought in as a replacement.
It proved to be two competitive contests, with the North Stars winning 3-0 Friday night while the return contest Saturday went to overtime before being won by the North Stars 5-4 on a Holden Doell overtime breakaway with 20 seconds left.
North Stars 3 Klippers 0
Friday night, the North Stars headed to West Central Events Centre to play the Klippers, and it was a strong result for the North Stars as they won 3-0.
The story was another strong outing by Lowen Kenyon, who has gotten the lion’s share of starts after Michael Harroch was injured in a contest with Estevan earlier this month. Kenyon posted a shutout, stopping all 28 Klippers shots, which earned him First Star honours.
Meanwhile, the North Stars fired 30 shots at the Klippers’ Matthew Pesenti, and posted goals on three of them.
After a scoreless first period, Dylan Esau put the North Stars ahead on a shorthanded goal at the 1:54 mark of period two, Steven Kesslering assisting.
In period three it was Kesslering who scored his 15th of the year at 4:34. Jake Southgate wrapped up the scoring at the 13:41 mark to seal the win for the road team.
North Stars 5 Klippers 4 (OT Final)
The rematch took place Saturday night in North Battleford. The contest marked a milestone for Austin Schwab, who made his first start in goal since returning to the North Stars earlier this week at the trade deadline.
The North Stars got off to a good start as Tynan Ewart scored a power play goal at 7:54 to put them ahead.
But after a face off in the North Stars end, Kindersley tied the game at the 11:06 mark as Josh Danis scored from Josh Pufahl. That was all the scoring in the first period.
In the second the Klippers took the lead on a goal by Tylin Hilbig, but Kesslering tied it up soon after at the 11:49 mark. That would be all the scoring in the period.
In the third period the Klippers took the lead on Hilbig’s second of the night at the 1:03 mark. Soon after Jaxon Georget got his 10th of the year at the 1:31 mark, Hilbig and Andrew Schwab assisting to put Kindersley up 4-2.
With 4:20 remaining, Ryland McNinch got the North Stars back within one with a power play goal, unassisted.
Southgate tied the game 4-4 with just 2:24 remaining. That is how it remained for the rest of the third period, sending the game to overtime.
The three-on-three overtime saw a number of close calls with numerous North Stars chances. Finally with 20 seconds remaining, Holden Doell scored a breakaway goal to topple the Klippers 5-4.
The North Stars outshot the Klippers 46-41 with Schwab stopping 37 for the win.
Next on the schedule for the North Stars are games in Notre Dame next Friday and Melville Saturday. Kindersley hosts Weyburn Tuesday and Wednesday.