The Norman Northstars have reached the halfway point of the Manitoba “AAA” Midget season on a high note after splitting a pair of games with the Kenora Thistles.
The Thistles took control of the Friday night affair from the opening faceoff, with Ben Hackl opening the scoring two minutes into the game. Kenora would put nine more goals past Northstars goalie Braedin Melsted, who made 54 saves on the night.
Seven different Thistles had multi-point games, including four points from Cooper Witherspoon (2G, 2A), Hackl (1G, 3A) and Sam Brunton (3G, 1A).
Jerome Linklater had the lone goal for the Northstars, his 7th of the season. Keistin Saunders and Sheldin Howard had the assists on the goal.
Linklater was named offensive player of the game for the NorMan squad, while Melsted took home the defensive honours for his stellar performance.
The Friday night game was chippy to say the least, with 85 combined penalty minutes between the two teams. The game reached a boiling point in the third period when a fight broke out Frederick Ledoux and Aidan Shumka.
Saturday night saw a complete turn-around from the NorMan squad in what could possibly be their best game of the season so far. Jonathan Saunders scored two minutes in from Albert Sinclair to put the Northstars up 1-0. Witherspoon tied the game up ten minutes later for Kenora, and the two teams would go into the intermission with the score knotted up at one.
Sam Brunton would add a pair for the Thistles in the second, but it was the Northstars who would take the lead into the final frame thanks to goals from Mikey Baron, Chase Muswagon and Sheldin Howard.
The third period was quiet on the goal front until Witherspoon tied up the game with five minutes left in regulation. Overtime solved nothing, so the two teams went to a shootout.
Keistin Saunders scored after Kadin Ilott was denied by Keian Weseen, who made 44 stops on the night. Weseen stopped Hackl and Dylan Winsor to secure the second win on the season for the Northstars. It was Weseen’s first win with the team.
Hunter Rambow led the way offensively for the NorMan side, picking up offensive player of the game honours for his pair of assists. Weseen was named defensive player of the game.
Rambow, whose Jr. “A” rights are held by the OCN Blizzard, currently leads the Northstars with 22 points (7G, 15A) in 28 games. Mitchell Reid continues to lead the team with 12 goals.
The Norman Northstars are now on a break for the holidays, and will resume practices in the New Year before hosting the Pembina Valley Hawks at the T.R.C.C. on January 5th and 6th.
Current Manitoba "AAA" Midget Standings