Shutout opens split with Thistles

Roger Tagoona led the way with two goals in a 6-0 Northstars' win over the Kenora Thistles Oct. 16, as Ryan Delorme stopped every shot he faced for the shutout.

Delorme was strong in net again the next night, turning aside 33 of 36 shots by the Thistles, but Matt Benson of Kenora was even better, stopping all but two of the 38 shots the Northstars pounded on net in a 3-2 loss.

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The Northstars' record now stands at 3-4 as they head out on a four-game road trip this weekend.

Tagoona picked up a drop pass from Cody Zulyniak and fired a wrist shot past Benson on a power play early in the second period Friday, then added his second of the night just over three minutes into the final frame, popping in a rebound 11 seconds into a 5-on-3 advantage for the Northstars. The Northstars scored four times with the man advantage in the game.

Captain Quentin Holmes got the scoring started, batting in a bouncing puck with his back to the net midway through the first period, which had seen more hits than scoring chances in the first 10 minutes. Zulyniak made it 3-0 in the second period, scoring unassisted just after Delorme stopped a 2-on-1 at the other end of the ice. Dylan Hykawy chased Benson from the Thistles' net less than 30 seconds later, launching a slap shot that tipped off a defender's stick 13 seconds into a power play. Dillon McCombie scored the final goal of the game with 11:53 left in the game as he converted a 2-on-1 with Kenora on the penalty kill again.

Delorme wasn't overly busy, but preserved his shutout and the momentum with two big stops on a penalty kill in the final minute of the second period.

On Saturday, Kolton Kahoot got the Thistles on the board with 8:02 left in the opening period and Kenora got one more past Delorme before the intermission but it was ruled to have gone in off a high stick. The Northstars' goalie kept it a one-goal game by stopping a 2-on-1 with 40 seconds left in the period.

Jaron Campbell's third goal of the season got the home team back on even terms early in the second and Delorme stopped a series of point-blank chances to keep it 1-1 but Sheldon Olson wristed a long shot that skipped off the ice and past Delorme 1:42 before the intermission to put Kenora up 2-1.

A power play marker by Gavin Kowoski gave the Thistles a two-goal cushion as Kenora outshot the Northstars 9-1 in the first six minutes of the third.

Wayne Folster put a puck in the net midway through the period, but the officials conferred and ruled that a high stick knocked it in. Just over a minute later, Brett Ferguson got his first of year when he slid a rebound under Benson's pads. McCombie had a chance to tie it when he deked out the goaltender only to shoot wide. Seconds later, Justin Valentino fired a shot over a gaping net. With Delorme out of the net for an extra attacker, the Northstars won a faceoff and got a shot with 12 seconds left, but Benson gloved it to preserve the win.

Attendance at Saturday night's game was 492.

The Northstars face the Winnipeg Wild, Eastman Selects, Pembina Valley Hawks and Winnipeg Thrashers in a four-games-in-four-days road trip starting tomorrow night.

Their next home games are Oct. 30-31 against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

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