Northstars start season
By Jarann Johnson
The Hazen-Beulah Northstars started their season off last week with two losses. The Northstars weren’t given a friendly schedule to start the year.
The Northstars hosted Bismarck Century last Tuesday and followed the season opener with Bismarck High on Thursday. Both games ended with lopsided results.
The Northstars fell to Century 8-1 to start the year and 9-0 to Bismarck.
The lone goal of the season was scored by senior forward Devin Sardelli. Jakob Parisien was credited with an assist on the play.
Colin Johnson had a standout week in the net, even though he allowed 17 goals in total. Johnson has seen 135 shots on net and 117 total shots, which gives him an 87.7 save percentage on the season.
The Northstars only have 15 total players this year and were short, which led to long shifts and a lot of time out on the ice. Three of the team’s players are goalies, too, so the squad at full strength only has 12 skaters.
Mikey Morris, an all-region selection and leading scorer last season, didn’t play. After the Century game, Head Coach Dan Frei said his team had chances but didn’t convert, and approved of Johnson’s performance in net.
“He’s [Johnson] going to play games against two really good teams, and we aren’t going to have a full roster. His stats aren’t going to look good coming out of them. But it’s not probably an indication of what he is as a goal-tender,” Frei said.
Frei thought his offense created scoring chances against Century, but couldn’t finish the plays. Frei recalled his team’s performance during scoring chances.
“We had plenty of chances to put the puck in the net, we just didn’t. Dain Sardelli missed an open net, Jakob Parisien had a couple opportunities. I mean there were chances to score, which we have to take advantage of. We can’t miss our opportunities,” Frei said.
After the game, Frei said his team planned to counter the short bench in a system, which used less energy. As the game progressed he said his team became a bit too anxious and started using too much energy.
“We went in trying to play a game systematically, where we could use less energy, and young guys still like to get a little more aggressive than they should. Every body check you throw takes energy out of you, and there’s reasons they throw body punches in boxing,” Frei said.