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North Stars win pre-season home opener over Klippers

First contest at home in almost a year

NORTH BATTLEFORD - For the first time in almost a year, Battlefords North Stars hockey was back in action Wednesday night at the Access Communications Centre.

It was a pre-season contest against the Kindersley Klippers and while the game did not count toward the standings, it had the feel of a regular season contest with lots of scoring and plenty of hitting and penalties between the two rivals.

In the end, the North Stars prevailed 6-4 to go 3-0 against the Klippers this pre-season.

The North Stars had to roar back from behind in the hockey game after going down by three goals midway through the second period. After goals by Carson Baylis in the first and by Charles Obafallo and Matthew Maxxocchi in the second put the Klippers ahead, the North Stars responded with an unassisted goal from Daniel Thiessen at the 10:11 mark.

Zane Florence then responded with back-to-back goals. His goal at the 12:51 mark with Dylan Esau assisting pulled the North Stars within one in period two.

Florence then tied it up one minute into period three with an unassisted goal, but the Klippers got one back on a power play goal by Aidan Bangs at the 3:16 mark.

Veteran Ryland McNinch pulled the North Stars ahead to stay with two goals, the first coming at 4:51 with Jake Southgate assisting, and then on the power play at 11:49 with Southgate and Holden Doell getting assists.

It was Doell who got the empty-net goal with three seconds left on the clock to seal a 6-4 win. Shots favoured the Klippers on the night, 42-31.

The North Stars look forward to being back on the ice Sept. 11 for another preseason game against the La Ronge Ice Wolves, game time 7:30 p.m. at the Access Communications Centre.

They are also looking forward to hitting the golf links. The North Stars will be at Jackfish Lake on Friday for the return of the annual North Stars Alumni Golf Classic, which took last year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plenty of alumni from the club are expected to be there with a shotgun start planned for noon, and there will be a chance for those in attendance to meet the 2021-22 North Stars.