Northern Bears fall to Saskatoon despite strong start

Photo by Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Prince Albert Northern Bears forward Sasha Malenfant attempts a shot during SFU18AAHL action Thursday at the Art Hauser Centre

A strong start was not enough for the Prince Albert Northern Bears as they fell to the Saskatoon Stars in SFU18AAAHL play on Thursday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Northern Bears head coach Steve Young says the Northern Bears did not stay consistent throughout the game.

“I thought it was in spurts. I thought we didn’t start great and then scored two goals and then got back on our heels again and allowed them to come back. Lot of special team situations we weren’t able to keep our flow. And then in the third period, we were able to get a little bit of flow. In all the games we played, this is one where we haven’t played a full 60 minutes.”

The Northern Bears would fire off the opening goal as Kinley Brassard would score her second goal of the season with 8:10 remaining in the first period.

Prince Albert would double their lead with a power play goal from Jacquelyne Chief with 4:33 remaining

Saskatoon would answer almost immediately as Sage Babey would score her fifth goal of the campaign with 4:08 remaining in the first period.

The Stars would find the equalizer just over two minutes later as Babey would record her second goal of the contest

Ireland Stein would give Saskatoon a 3-2 lead with her first goal of the season 5:25 into the second period tapping in a rebound past Prince Albert netminder Brooke Archer

Saskatoon would strike again on the power play with just 0:58 remaining in the second period as Keyra Buziak would take a point shot through traffic that beat Archer.

Avery Bairos would extend the Saskatoon lead with a goal 9:49 into the third period to make it a 5-2 hockey game.

Claudia Lammers would strike for her third goal of the season with 6:01 remaining in the third period to cut the Star lead to 5-3, but that’s as close as they would get.

One bright spot for the Northern Bears was defenceman Tristyn Endicott who recorded two assists in the game. Endicott played up at forward last season due to an excess of rearguards on the Bears roster a year ago. She is now playing at her natural position of defense this season.

She says she is adjusting well back to her natural position

“So far so good, I still got the hang of it. I still got some forward moves in me which isn’t very good as a defenceman in our zone. But I think the transition has been good so far.”

Ava Dabryk made 24 saves in net to earn the win for Saskatoon. Brooke Archer took the loss in net for Prince Albert stopping 29 of 34 Saskatoon shots.

The Northern Bears return to action on Saturday and Sunday when they take on the Notre Dame Hounds on the road in Wilcox.