The Hawks and North Stars filled the penalty box Friday night at the ‘Cage,” but goaltender Justen Maric made sure Nipawin didn’t fill the net stopping all 37 shots he faced in his 2023/24 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) debut for a 3-0 Battlefords win.
Looking to extend their winning streak to three games, the Hawks got behind in the first period and couldn’t solve Maric even with eight power-plays in the game. Captain Maguire Ratzlaff said after the game the that the home team couldn’t generate any consistency together in the game.
“We got some momentum going and then a couple shots, I think their goalie played well,” the Abbotsford, B.C. product said after the game. “We couldn’t seem to string a couple shifts together, and we had some momentum like I said, but we couldn’t pull a full 60 minutes out of it.”
Nipawin took way too many penalties of their own in the game giving the North Stars 10 power-plays, they did kill nine of the 10. Ratzlaff added that the Hawks need to be more disciplined.
“We’ve had a little struggle staying disciplined, but I think that’s most teams to be honest, I think the penalties are a little bit higher, but we must find a way to adapt our game. Stay more disciplined and focus on what we can control,” he said.
Damon Cunningham suffered the loss allowing three goals on 35 North Stars shots.
The teams will meet again Saturday in North Battleford. Ratzlaff agreed that the Hawks are ready to take the next step and that includes getting wins over teams like the reigning champions.
“We started this game we were rolling all of our lines, I think we have that potential, we just need to put a full 60 minutes together. We do that I don’t think there are many teams that can skate with us,” he concluded.
Faceoff of 7:30 p.m., the game will be broadcasted in 105 CJVR beginning with the pregame show at 7:15 p.m. from the Access Communications Centre.