The North Battleford Civic Centre was treated to one heck of a regular season finale between the Battlefords North Stars and the Kindersley Klippers. In the end, it was the home fans who drove out of the parking lot with smiles on their faces.
Despite a late goal in the 3rd period from Kindersley's Kyle Bosch, the North Stars came out victorious in a thrilling 4-3 overtime win over the Klippers. Braydon Buziak, who was born and raised in Kindersley before his family moved to the Battlefords a few years ago, put away the overtime winner for the North Stars. He ended the game with a goal and two assists.
Steven Avalone scored Kindersley's first goal of the evening and his second of the year to tie the game up in the 2nd period. Noah Bankowski found his twelfth goal of the season almost halfway through the 3rd, which at that point broke the tie to make it 2-1 Klippers.
Both Justen Close and Joel Grzybowski made 28 saves for their respective teams.
It was a relatively calm night for penalties between the sides considering it was a game featuring two rivals that were both chasing the top spot in the division. There were two penalties of four minutes total for each team, and both teams ended the night 0 for 1 on the powerplay.
So what does the loss mean for the Klippers?
Since the North Stars grabbed the full two points in the extra frame victory, they end the season with 80 points over Kindersley's 78 points, putting the Battlefords atop the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division standings and second in the overall standings. Meanwhile the Klippers will settle for second in the division and finish fifth in the league table.
As the fifth seed in the SJHL playoff bracket, the Klippers have matched up with the Melfort Mustangs at number four. Melfort lost out on winning first place in the Sherwood Division and the league pennant following their 3-1 defeat from the Flin Flon Bombers last night. The Klippers and Mustangs will embark on a best-of-7 second round series with dates to be announced soon from the clubs. Melfort will hold home ice advantage since they concluded the regular season with more points than the Klippers.
Heading into this contest, the Klippers will want to erase their memories from their earlier games against the Mustangs and treat this as a fresh season. Melfort dominated the Klippers during their schedule, winning five straight to take the season series 5-1.
Here's how the rest of the postseason picture shapes out going into the 2019 SJHL Playoffs.
Survivor Series (Best-of-3)
Flin Flon Bombers (7) vs Weyburn Red Wings (10)
Yorkton Terriers (8) vs Notre Dame Hounds (9)
Nipawin Hawks (1) vs #2 Wild Card
Battlefords North Stars (2) vs #1 Wild Card
Estevan Bruins (3) vs Humboldt Broncos (6)
Melfort Mustangs (4) vs Kindersley Klippers (5)