Stars stay close but can’t notch a win

The Norman Northstars lost a pair of close games Nov. 15-16 after opening their three-game Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League road trip with a lopsided loss to the Winnipeg Thrashers on Friday night.

Team-leading scorer Bryce Horning and Ethan Stuckless scored in the third period against the Pembina Valley Hawks on Sunday to put their team up 4-3 but the Hawks struck back with three goals of their own from Kelton Sutherland, Mark Klassen and Derek Wood in the last 12 minutes to skate away with a 6-4 win. 

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The Northstars’ third-period goals capped off a comeback from 3-0 down that started in the second period with a goal from Anthony Keeper Jr. and continued when Daylon Campbell reduced the Pembina Valley lead to one with less than five minutes to play before the second intermission.

The Hawks got goals from William Lovell and Tyson McConnell in the first period and extended the lead to three goals early in the middle frame when McConnell notched his second.

Mark Steeves made 25 saves in the game while Aaron Brunn turned away 21 Northstars shots in net for the Hawks. 

The Northstars erased three one-goal leads Nov. 15 against the Central Plains Capitals but couldn’t do it a fourth time and fell 4-3.

Byron Spence tied the game 3-3 about midway through the final period after Kyle Byczkowski gave the Capitals a lead 3:33 into the third. Spence had assisted on Michael Markus’s second period goal that tied it 2-2 a couple minutes after Josh Blondeau put the Capitals ahead. Horning had the first goal of the game for the Northstars, scoring in the late stages of the first period to tie the game at one after Tanner Blight staked Central Plains to an early lead.

Connor Faulkner made 27 saves in the game while Connor Nichol stopped 25 shots by the Northstars.

The road trip opened with an 8-1 loss to the Thrashers Nov. 14. Markus had the only goal for the Northstars, who were outshot 44-16. Faulkner made 36 saves in the game.

The Northstars will host the Thrashers at the C.A. Nesbitt Arena this Saturday and Sunday.

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