Hockey officially underway
By Jarann Johnson
The Hazen-Beulah North Stars started right were they left off. The North Stars ended last season with a 5-1 postseason loss to Jamestown and started this season against their West Region rivals at home.
The North Stars tried to prove that this year was going to be different and almost did before falling in overtime on a goal by Jamestown junior forward Austin Rene. Other than that overtime rebound, the North Stars starting goalie Colin Johnson didn’t let many shots get past him.
Johnson ended the game with 50 saves in his first outing of the year. North Stars Head Coach Dan Frei complimented Johnson’s performance.
“There were an awful lot of quality saves in that 50 as well – I mean there were obviously some point shots and some wide shots that were added in there – but Colin (Johnson) played really well,” Frei said.
“He was in good position, he didn’t panic … he seemed to be able to get himself into position without exerting himself too much, and sometimes when you’re playing your position well the puck finds you. So, he had a great game – we need that every game this year, so hopefully he’ll keep that up.”
Aside from Johnson’s strong display near the goal line, the North Stars also received a strong showing from their offense. Mikey Morris and Hunter Steffen made the most connections for the offense, producing three of the North Stars’ four goals.
Frei liked how the duo did a good job of playing their roles and adding a scoring touch.
“Hunter (Steffen) was kind of my ‘in the corners’ guy, who was going in after pucks, and he ended up centering a couple good passes out that Mikey (Morris) was able to get his stick on that found the back of the net. So, just both of them working into a role that was successful [was a key to their scoring connection],” Frei said.