Mustangs eliminated by North Stars in SJHL semi-final series

Photo courtesy of Broadleaf Media. The Melfort Mustangs salute the crowd after being eliminated from the 2023 SJHL playoffs.

The Canterra Seeds Cup in the SJHL will come down to the Flin Flon Bombers and the Battlefords North Stars.

The North Stars swept the Melfort Mustangs 4-0 and the Bombers defeated the Humboldt Broncos 4-1.

The Mustangs were eliminated on Wednesday, April 5 after the North Stars won 5-2 in Melfort.

Battlefords led 3-0 after the first period and 3-2 after the second period.

Zac Somers and Boston Maxwell scored for Melfort.

Kian Bell had a pair of goals for the North Stars in the third period. Alex Izyk, Holden Doell and Steven Kesserling added the other Battlefords goals.

The Mustangs’ Joel Favreau made 30 saves; Josh Kotai made 22 saves for the North Stars.

The opening game of the two-game set in Melfort was the most exciting of the series with the North Stars winning 1-0 in double overtime on Tuesday, April 4. Bell scored the winner 4:15 into the second overtime.

The game was scoreless after the first and second periods.

Favreau made 42 saves for the Mustangs; Kotai stopped all 44 shots he faced to record a shutout.

The Mustangs lose eight players to graduation including Favreau, Captain Ben Tkachuk, forward Dawson Leroux, forward Clarke Huxley, forward Boston Maxwell, defenseman Hayden Tuba, defenseman Leyton Holoein and defenseman Kevin Minnoch.

Tkachuk has committed to play for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and Favreau has committed to SUNY-Geneseo in NCAA-III for the 2023/2024 season.

The SJHL Final between the Battlefords North Stars and the Flin Flon Bombers will tentatively begin on Friday, April 14 with Game One in North Battleford. Game Two is Saturday, April 15 in North Battleford.