It took 24 games, but the Norman Northstars have finally won their first game of the season.
The NorMan squad split their games over the weekend against the Central Plains Capitals, dropping the Friday night affair 8-5 before finally getting that long-sought first “W” on Saturday 6-5 in dramatic fashion.
The Northstars got out to a fast start yet again on Friday night, with Mikey Baron scoring to give his team the lead 30 seconds in. The first period would end tied up at two, with Keistin Saunders scoring the second goal for the NorMan squad. The second and third periods saw Central Plains dominate, outscoring the Northstars 6-3 in the last 40 minutes. Keian Weseen made 36 stops in the loss. Jerome Linklater, Keistin Saunders, Mitchell Reid and Hunter Rambow led the way up front with two points apiece.
Saturday saw a much different Northstars team come flying out of the gate. Sheldin Howard scored on the powerplay 5:26 into the first period, followed by a pair from Jonathan Saunders to give the home team a 3-0 lead. The NorMan squad would add two more goals in the second period from Jordan Pfoh and Linklater to take a 5-2 lead into the second intermission. Central Plains would score three in the final frame, but it wasn’t enough as Linkater added his second of the game into the empty net to push the Northstars over the top. Braedin Melsted was named defensive player of the game, making 33 stops on the night. Linkater was named offensive player of the game with two goals and two assists.
Saturday’s 6-5 victory was their first since February 4th, when they beat the Soutwest Cougars by the same score. Ethan Stuckless had the game winner in February, and Melsted was between the pipes.
Jerome Linklater, in his second season with the Northstars, is sitting at 18 points in 17 games after his 6-point weekend against the Capitals. Friday’s game was his first game since the November 10th tilt against the Pembina Valley Hawks.
Howard and Rambow are currently tied for the team lead in points, with 19. Reid continues to lead the team in goals with 9.
The Northstars are at home again this weekend for their final games before the holiday break. They’ll host the rival Kenora Thistles Friday and Saturday at the T.R.C.C. Both games will start at 7:30pm.