The Norman Northstars saw their Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League playoff end in familiar fashion Feb. 24, as they lost their third straight game to the Winnipeg Wild and their season came to an end in a second-round sweep versus a Winnipeg club, as it has in three of the past four seasons. The Northstars were also swept in 2012, though that time it came at the hands of the Southwest Cougars.
The final game of the Northstars' season was a 10-0 shutout on Feb. 24, the largest margin of victory for the Wild in the series, in which the top team from the East Division and in the league never trailed. Paul Soubry had a hat trick for the Wild, while Jake Dudar scored two goals. Singles came from Shawn Pachet, Jackson Keane, Zach Court, Jordan Bochinski and Zach Heisinger. The Northstars were outshot 49-32 in the game, which saw the Wild go 4-for-9 on the power play, while the Northstars were 0-for-2.
The previous night’s contest was a closer affair, but the Wild still won with ease, scoring three times in the first and second periods and once in the third en route to a 7-1 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Bochinski and Heisinger each had a pair of goals for the Wild, while Soubry, Mack Hardy and Jackson Keane had singles. Lodie Ipeelie had the sole tally for the Northstars on a second period power play which made it a 3-1 Wild lead but the three-goal advantage was restored by Bochinski just 34 seconds later. Northstars’ goaltender Aaron Vallance was under siege in this game as well, making 38 stops compared to 22 for Winnipeg goaltender Adam Vander Linden.
The series opened with the Wild blitzing the Northstars with 55 shots in an 11-2 win on Feb. 22. Soubry, Hardy and Geordie Keane each recorded two goals for the Wild, while Ezra Hall, Jackson Keane, Taylor Fisher, Dudar and Mike Taraschuk had singles. Tyrel Charlton, on a second period power play, and Tavish Quinn, in the third period, had the goals for the Northstars, who directed 27 shots at Wild netminder Evan Johnson.
Tavish Quinn finished the playoffs as the leading scorer for the Northstars with three goals and five assists for eight points in five games, one point ahead of Ipeelie, who has four goals and three assists in the postseason. Four other players – Steven Goran, Boyd Langan, Tanner Hepp and Bruce Highway – finished with three points each.