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North Stars dodge potholes to defeat Bombers, SJHL game played in Wilkie

Hockey fans in Wilkie experienced an SJHL game played at SaskCan arena, where they saw some of the league's top players in action.

WILKIE — An unplanned work order at Access Communications Centre in North Battleford meant for a fun night at the SaskCan Community Centre in Wilkie as the SJHL's Battlefords North Stars landed in Wilkie to begin their weekend set against the Flin Flon Bombers Friday night

This wasn't the first SJHL game played in Wilkie, however. The North Stars played host to the Melfort Mustangs on Jan. 24,2003. Current Wilkie Outlaws forward Garett Cameron played in that game for Melfort, scoring a goal but in the end, it was Battlefords who won that game 4-3.

"It's going to be loud, going to be electric, it'll be a full rink" said North Stars Head Coach Brayden Klimosko in a pregame interview. "It's not very often that a junior hockey player gets to play in a smaller barn"

The “smaller barn” meant a cap of 600 people allowed in the facility for the heavyweight tilt between the two division leaders.

Klimoski wasn't entirely unfamiliar with the arena but mentioned that he hadn't played in Wilkie since peewee and commended the community for keeping the rink in "the shape they have."

Both teams came out flying, but it was Kian Bell's goal at the 17:11 mark that ignited the crowd. It also ended up being the lone marker for either team as the “home team” held a 1-0 advantage after one period.

Battlefords' lead grew to 3-0 thanks to two early second period goals from Emmett Wurst and Jackson Allan, but Jaeden Mercier would cut that lead down to two late in the second.

The North Stars held their lead throughout the third, getting insurance goals from Keiton Klein and Evan Waldie, and earning the win with a 5-2 decision despite getting badly outshot 60-38. Netminder Josh Kotai was superb in the win, making some key saves in the third to keep the Bombers at bay, stopping 58 shots on net for the Stars.

Wyatt Cook had the lone goal in the third period for the visitors.

The 19-0-2-1 North Stars now pack up and head to the Battleford Arena for game two of their set against their Manitoba counterparts Nov. 19 afternoon, who are still a very good 14-5-1-1.

The Stars are having a Stellar season sitting atop their Global Ag Risk Solutions Division with now 19 wins in 22 games played, and two of their losses coming in overtime.

Players Holden Doell and Jake Southgate lead the league in points so far this season, and Kian Bell leads the league in goals scored with 18 goals in 19 games played. Goaltender Josh Kotai also leads the league as top net minder with now 14 wins earned in 17 games played.


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