The Norman Northstars kept pace with the Southwest Cougars for much of their two-game home opening series Sept. 25-26 but still emerged from the weekend with no wins to start off the 2021-22 Manitoba AAA U18 Hockey League season.
The Northstars matched the Cougars’ offensive output in three out of six periods over the two games, holding them scoreless in the first period on Saturday and the second period on Sunday and matching their opponent’s single goal in the final period of he second game, but they still skated away on the losing end of 4-0 and 2-1 scores.
Ian Snooks had the first and so far only goal of the season for the Northstars, tallying late in the third period on Sunday to bring his team within a goal. Dawson Andres of Southwest had scored earlier in the period to double his team’s advantage after Nate Robson opened the scoring late in the first period.
No Northstar found the back of the net in the season's first game, which saw Brett Laing and Andres score 11 seconds apart in the middle frame to open up a 2-0 lead. Jesse Brown and Jayce Thompson added markers in the third, the latter into an empty net.
Tucker St. John made 36 saves for the Northstars on Saturday night and 30 on Sunday as his team was outshot 40-24 in the opener and 32-30 in the rematch.