The last-place Norman Northstars didn’t have the horses to keep up with the second-place Yellowhead Chiefs in a home series Jan. 26-27, giving up 20 goals over two games while only scoring four themselves.
The series started off with a 9-2 setback Jan. 26. Kadin Ross actually got the Northstars on the board first before Parker Johnson replied with a first period tally of his own for Yellowhead. The second period was all Chiefs, as Colby Joseph, Zach Veitch, Reece Richmond, Bray Rookes and Tanner Dutcawich all scored to put their team up 6-1 heading into the final frame. Henry Muchikekwanape got the Northstars’ second goal early in the third period before Kaelen Quane, Owen Wareham and Sloan Stanick recorded goals for Yellowhead. Shots were 60-29 for the Chiefs in the game and Braedin Melsted made 51 saves for the Northstars.
The Chiefs put the Northstars on their heels early in an 11-2 rout Jan. 27, with Sloan Stanick getting Yellowhead’s first goal less than two minutes into the game and their second just 33 seconds later. The game was not yet four minutes old when Slade Stanick made it a three-goal lead for Yellowhead. Hunter Rambow drew the Northstars back within two with 14:35 left in the period but Jake Poole finished off a counterattack rush just before the period’s midway point with his team’s fourth goal. Zane MacDonald made it 5-1 two seconds after a Northstars penalty expired in the late stages of the period, which ended with the Chiefs holding a 23-10 edge in shots on goal.
Yellowhead started off the second period nearly as fast as the first, getting goals from Richmond and Logan Wotton in the first 3:04. The Northstars hit the crossbar and the post on shots about 10 seconds apart but it was the Chiefs who found the back of the net again, getting goals from Briley Wood and Richmond to lead 9-1 before Rambow got his – and his team’s – second of the game 3:52 before the second intermission. Yellowhead continued to dominate the shot clock, putting 18 pucks on the Northstars’ net in the middle frame while giving up only three shots against for a 41-13 advantage after 40 minutes.
Brody Wilson and Joseph had the only two goals of the final frame in the last minute of play despite the Chiefs peppering the Northstars’ net with 26 shots in the period for a total of 67 in the game compared to just 21 for the Northstars. Rylan Potkonjak made 56 saves in a losing cause for the home team.
The Northstars are in 13th place in the 13-team Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League with 14 points after 39 games, two points behind the Parkland Rangers, who have 16 points in 40 games. The Northstars host the Southwest Cougars, currently fourth in league standings, at the C.A. Nesbitt Arena Feb. 2-3.