Ken Pearson juggled the Battlefords North Stars' lines Saturday in Melfort and that led to a complete team effort and some great play from special teams units.
The win gave the North Stars a temporary taste of third place in the Bauer Conference, but the Humboldt Broncos beat Nipawin 2-1 Sunday and hopped back into third spot.
After having to kill off three straight minor penalties in the first eight minutes of the game, the North Stars built some momentum. Failing to convert on a powerplay opportunity of their own, the North Stars eventually netted the game's first goal. Keith Grondin converted on a passing play from Braeden Johnson and Kyle Hall for his team leading 28th goal of the season.
The first period ended 1-0, and both goalies were tested often, as Kyle Birch stopped 11 shots and Charles Corsi had 13 saves.
Midway through the second period, the North Stars were back on the powerplay and it was Tanner Schwab tipping a shot by Corsi. Schwab's 12th of the season was assisted by Cody Folstad and Blake Tatchell.
Ten minutes later, the North Stars increased their lead to three goals, as Folstad scored his eighth of the season from Cris Neurauter.
In the third period, the Mustangs broke Birch's shutout bid with a Mault Spencer goal.
Shortly after the Mustangs' goal, Hall increased the North Stars' lead while Johnson and Grondin drew assists on the rookie's 19th goal of the season. The insurance marker put the North Stars in a position to cruise to a 4-1 win.
Johnson, Grondin and Birch made it a North Stars sweep of three stars and the Battlefords jumped into third place in the Bauer Conference.
Birch made 36 saves for the win while Corsi stopped 37 shots.
The North Stars were 2/8 with the man advantage and killed all six minor penalties.
The North Stars and Mustangs are a possible first round playoff matchup if the North Stars can jump into and hold the third place position in the Bauer Conference.
The North Stars have lost the first three meetings between the two teams, but they have since evened the season series with three straight wins over the Mustangs.
The North Stars were also scheduled to play in Nipawin Friday, but that game was postponed until Feb. 16 due to complications at the arena in Nipawin.
The final month of the regular season has had the North Stars travel to Yorkton Tuesday. Wednesday, they take on another Sherwood Conference team - the Melville Millionaires.
The North Stars, who are 23-24-1-1 on the season, are 1-2 against the Terriers this season with each game being decided by three goals or more. The Terriers lead the Sherwood Conference by four points with a 29-15-2-4 record.
The Millionaires are 20-24-1-2 and 1-2 against the Battlefords this season.
The North Stars have three home games remaining this month (Humboldt Feb. 9, Flin Flon Feb. 15 and Kindersley Feb. 18) and six games scheduled on the road.