Northern Bears suffer tough loss in Saskatoon

Herald File Photo/Nathan Reiter The Prince Albert Northern Bears bench during a home game on Feb. 9, 2023.

Love was not in the air on Valentine’s Day for the Prince Albert Northern Bears as they fell 10-0 to the Saskatoon Stars at Merlis Belsher Place.
Bears head coach Steve Young says that Prince Albert wasn’t mentally prepared from the start of the game.
“I think from the drop of the puck tonight Saskatoon was a good, motivated team and we kind of sat there and watched a lot of it. So, it continued through the whole game. We’re disappointed obviously with the score and how we played and it’s how we respond to it is going to be the big thing.”
The Stars would strike with a pair of goals in the first period from Megan Hirschfield just 1:19 into the game and Maggie Freeman at the 9:06 mark.
A trio of goals in the second period for the Stars would come off the tape of Kolbee Ashe, Brooklin Fry and Keyra Buziak to give the homeside Stars a 5-0 advantage after two periods of play.
Saskatoon would explode for five goals in the third period from Brooklin Fry, Sage Babey, Kolbee Ashe and a pair from Keyra Buziak.
Annika Neufeldt made 44 saves in goal for the Northern Bears in the loss. Young says the rookie netminder was a bright spot in the defeat.
“I thought Annika Neufeld hung in there tonight and made a lot of good saves. We had a lot of shots on us and there a lot of quality shots. And she was there, regardless of the score, I thought she was a bright spot in our game tonight.”
The Northern Bears will close out their regular season with four games against the Battlefords Sharks. Young says the team will have to do some soul searching after the loss.
“It starts from the top coaches that have to regroup and figure things out, our leadership group and then all the players. So, I think it’s important that we have to respond to the type of game that was tonight. I’m not taking anything away from Saskatoon, they played a strong game, but at the same time, we can’t be happy with our game tonight. but we have to make sure we channel it in the right direction and not lay blame on everyone.”
The Bears return to action on Thursday, Feb. 23 when they welcome the Battlefords Sharks to the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.