The Norman Northstars started off 2020 they way they finished 2019 – with three road losses in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League.
The Northstars kicked off the new year with a 9-4 loss to the Central Plains Capitals Jan. 3 despite battling back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead before the first intermission. Kian Calder and Brennan Cook put the Capitals on the board with goals 15 seconds apart before Jordan Pfoh, Ian Snooks and Blake Lahonen replied for the Northstars. Jackson Wilson, with two, Calder and Drake Sheppard put Central Plains on top 6-3 with second period goals before Ryan Monias got the Northstars’ fourth early in the third period. Cameron Trimble, Carson Buydens and Cody Blight had the last three goals for the Capitals, who outshot their opponents 48-29. Odin Church made 39 saves in the Northstars net.
Pfoh had the Northstars’ only goal on an early third period power play in a 9-1 loss to the Southwest Cougars Jan. 4. Cody Gudnason, Hunter Wallace and Jordan Boyechko staked the Cougars to a 3-0 first period lead before Zach Turner, Myles Sobry and Colen Miller doubled the lead to six in the second period. Pfoh’s goal cut Southwest’s advantage to five before Wallace, Nolan Wickham and Miller scored in the third. Shots in the game were 48-15 for the Cougars and Linden Gamblin made 39 saves for the Northstars.
The road trip concluded Jan. 5 with a 13-5 loss to the Cougars. Boyechko scored three times for Southwest in the opening 20 minutes, while Matthew Ramsey and Jacob Dolomont added singles. Andrew Andries made it 6-0 in the second period before Lahonen scored back-to-back goals for the Northstars. Boyechko scored once more and Andries twice and Sobry added a single before Derek Koivisto and Branden Hill responded for the Northstars in the final frame. Turner, Trevor Hunt and Andries made it 13-4 before Conroy Halcrow got the Northstars’ final goal shorthanded. Shots were 52-18 for the Cougars. Church made 35 saves in the loss while Gamblin stopped four of seven shots he faced in less than a period of play.
The Northstars are back on home ice Jan. 11-12 when they face the Winnipeg Wild, who have lost only three of 32 games so far this season.