The Norman Northstars are still looking for their first win and point of the 2019-20 season after dropping three games on their first road trip of the month Nov. 1-3.
The weekend opened with a 5-0 loss to the Winnipeg Bruins on Friday night. Mathieu Catellier recorded a hat trick for the Bruins, who got all of their goals at even strength in the second period, with Nicholas Guberman and Joey Bielik chipping in singles. Shots in the game were 51-33 for the Bruins, and Northstars goaltender Rylan Potkonjak made 46 saves in the loss.
The margin of defeat was one goal closer against the Winnipeg Thrashers Nov. 2, but the Northstars trailed for all but the first 1:33 of the contest. Nate Goodbranson, Cameron Hibbert and Ben Bonni staked the Thrashers to a 3-0 lead in the first four minutes before Morgan Daneliuk got the Northstars on the scoreboard late in the period. Brody Melsted for the Thrashers and Dredyn Robinson of the Northstars traded goals in the the second period. Kalen Reynolds made it 5-2 for the Thrashers early in the third period. Robinson’s second of the game trimmed Winnipeg’s lead to two goals but Brandon Ambrozik and Lucas Brenton scored in the second half of the final frame to give the Thrashers a 7-3 win. Shots in the game were 43-25 for Winnipeg. Linden Gamblin made 36 saves in the Northstars’ net.
The final game of the road trip was the most lopsided of the losses, as the Eastman Selects defeated the Northstars 11-4. Spencer Penner and Blake Noble scored for Eastman in the first five minutes before Derek Koivisto of the Northstars sandwiched power play goals around an Eastman tally by Cole St. Laurent to make it 3-2 for the Selects at the first intermission. Denton Mateychuk scored two of Eastman’s five second period goals, with Hayden Fast, Drayden Kurbatoff and Ryan Forster recording the others. Ryan Monias and Curtis Shymanski scored for the Northstars in the final period, with Kurbatoff, Bryce Warkentine and Ethan McColm adding tallies for the Selects. Shots in the game were 48-34 in favour of Eastman. Potkonjak was tagged with the loss after giving up six goals on 25 shots before being replaced by Odin Church, who surrendered five goals on 23 shots the rest of the way.
The Northstars are in last place in the 13-team Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey league and the only team without a single point so far. They are hosting the Parkland Rangers for a pair of home games in The Pas Nov. 9-10.