After suffering a 10-5 defeat at the hands of the Richarson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings Thursday, the Battlefords North Stars were looking to bounce back when they returned to Crescent Point Place Saturday. The Red Wings would score first, but then the North Stars came roaring back, skating to a 9-2 win.
With the Red Wings loss, and a Melville Millionaires win over the Flin Flon Bombers, the first loss in regulation for the Bombers, Weyburn now has a one-point edge over Melville for first in the Viterra Division. Weyburn is now also tied with the North Stars for 4th in the league standings.
The biggest difference in the game was the play of Justen Maric. The North Stars goalie, chased from the crease after six goals Thursday, stymied the Red Wings all night, turning away 27 shots. At the other end, Eric Kahl, making his fourth start of the year, would face 38 shots, with eight getting past him.
The Red Wings opened the scoring 11:51 into the game, when Jaxon Ruthven scored his fifth goal of the season, and third in two games. His goal was assisted by Max Monette. Then, the North Stars answered back.
Hunter Burgeson scored 1:01 later to put the Battlefords on the board, then Kian Bell would give the visitors the lead 49 seconds after that. In the second period, Carson Olsen scored at the 12:09 mark, and then Brayden Sinclair scored with 1:58 in the middle frame to make it 4-1 for the visitors. Bradley Blake then opened the scoring in the third just 57 seconds in to make it 5-1 for the North Stars.
Weyburn would get one back at the 7:21 mark when Blake Betson notched his fifth of the season. Ruthven and Nick Kovacs had the assist on the power play goal.
The Red Wings then tried to spark a comeback and took some chances in doing so. When they had a man advantage with just over seven minutes off the clock, they called Kahl to the bench for an extra skater. They maintained a lot of pressure in the North Stars zone, but then Blake was able to fire the puck towards the open net in the Weyburn end. It would get into the net, and this gave the Battlefords a 6-2 lead.
The North Stars added three more goals, with Bell, Riley Girod and Sinclair scoring before the game was over.
The Red Wings, though, shook off the loss, or at least didn't let it affect the planned Skate with the Wings after the game. The players took to the ice and skated with the kids who came out to the game for nearly an hour, with the players all smiling, and enjoying the interactions with the young fans.
The Red Wings will now get some time off, with their next game scheduled for November 8th when they travel to Kindersley for a matchup with the Klippers.