Despite kicking off their 34th season with brand new jerseys, the midget AAA Norman Northstars couldn’t translate this fresh feeling into a pair of wins during their first two home games of the year.
Instead, the Winnipeg Bruins outplayed and outshot the Northstars at the C.A. Nesbitt Arena Oct. 6−7, resulting in decisive 8−3 and 7−2 victories, respectively.
Saturday’s game started out competitive enough, with the Bruins only being up by a single goal at the end of the first period.
However, the Northstars’ defence started to unravel in the second period, which lead to four more unanswered goals from the Winnipeg squad.
Even though they were lagging behind, the Northstars did show some signs of life, with forward Jamie Valentino scoring quick back-to-back goals to narrow the gap to 5−2.
Unfortunately, the Bruins answered back at the tail end of the second period with a sixth goal, and would find the back of the net two more times in the last 20 minutes.
Despite nabbing a third goal courtesy of forward Ryan Monias, it was too little too late for the Northstars and they had to settle for an 8−3 final in favour of the Bruins.
For Sunday’s contest, the Northstars managed to keep pace with the Bruins for the first 40 minutes of action, with the Winnipeg team only taking a slight 3−2 lead heading into the final frame.
But the Bruins’ offense truly kicked into high gear at this point, scoring three goals in the first six minutes of the third period.
The Northstars simply couldn’t recover from this sudden burst of offense this late into the game and let in a seventh goal at 10:00 to bring the final score to 7−2.
According Northstars coach Murray Nychyporuk, one of the biggest things his players need to work on moving forward is self-control, since forward Kiestan Saunders received a game misconduct at the end of their Oct. 6 match-up that kept him out of action on Sunday.
“We have to be mentally strong, we’ve got to be focused and we can’t let that [lack of discipline] take control of our games,” Nychyporuk said in the aftermath of Saturday’s game.
Following this Thanksgiving long weekend double-header, the Northstars are still looking for their first win of the season, having lost to the Brandon Wheat King, the Yellowhead Chiefs and the Parkland Rangers on the road Sept. 28−30.
The Northstars next home series is taking place Oct. 13−14 at the C.A. Nesbitt Arena, where they will be battling against the Pembina Valley Hawks.