The SJHL showcase has kicked off in Warman, and the Battlefords North Stars were in fine form as they beat the Melville Millionaires 9-5 on Monday morning.
The final score didn't reflect the close contest through the first two periods, where both teams traded goals. But five straight North Stars goals in the third period sunk the Mills on this day.
It was indeed a "showcase" for scoring, to the dismay of the goaltenders at the receiving end. Battlefords’ Cameron Beson allowed five goals on 31 shots but nevertheless got the "w." The Mills’ Marek Andres allowed nine on 34.
The game marked the first win for the North Stars this season away from Access Communications Centre, where they won all three of their home games and dropped both road games prior to Warman. The Millionaires, meanwhile, had only resumed action on the weekend in Kindersley after a week of suspended games due to a case of COVID-19 on the team.
They were also still smarting from recent suspensions handed down by the league to Melville head coach Mike Rooney and five Mills players, over an incident on Sept. 24. Rooney's suspension was ultimately overturned on appeal, but reduced suspensions remained for the five players.
Both teams traded goals to begin the contest in Warman. It was the Millionaires who wasted no time as Jake Spak scored at the 27 second mark, Nicolas Samson and Nic Porterfield assisting.
But the Battlefords responded midway through the period as Ryland McNinch got his second of the season from Matthew Henry to tie it at 1-1.
A power play goal by Colby Ball restored the Melville lead as the period ended. Shots on goal
In the second period Tanner Klimpke tied the game at 2-2 with his first of the season, Ethan Scrivener and Sam Witt assisting.
Tynan Ewart then gave the North Stars the lead at 9:33 on an unassisted goal. But again the Mills responded late in the period with a power play goal from Payton Kostyshyn at 18:17.
With the North Stars in the box McNinch got his second of the game on a shorthanded goal, Steven Kesslering assisting, at 19:02.
Colby Ball responded with a power play goal at 19:34 to tie the game at 4-4 through two periods.
The third period turned out to be a dominant one for the North Stars as they filled the Melville net.
Jake Southgate gave the North Stars the lead at the 1:50 mark, followed by Emmett Wurst at 3:15 on the power play.
Dylan Esau, Dace Prymak (on the power play) and finally Kevin-Thomas Walters added to the North Stars lead. Jackson Bohan’s goal for Melville with four seconds left finished the scoring for the 9-5 final score for the North Stars.
Next up for the North Stars at the Showcase is Yorkton on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. As for Melville, they face Melfort Tuesday morning.