PBCN Stars win 2022 Senators Cup

The PBCN Stars lift the Senators Cup after defeating the Sandy Lake Chiefs 2-0 in the final on Sunday night at the Art Hauser Centre. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

The PBCN Stars capped off an entertaining weekend at the Art Hauser Centre on Sunday night, defeating the Sandy Lake Chiefs 2-0 in the Senators Cup final. The Stars won five straight games during the weekend including the final, as they took home the $20,000 first place prize.

It looked like the Stars had opened the scoring in the second period on a wraparound try, but the goal was quickly called off due to goaltender interference. That didn’t slow down the momentum for the Stars however, as they opened the scoring just a few minutes later.

An intercepted pass in the defensive zone lead to a breakaway feed for Stars forward Darian Clarke. With just the goalie to beat on the breakaway, Clarke picked the blocker side of the Chiefs goaltender. After nearly two full periods of a scoreless tie, Clarke found the icebreaker, as the Stars went into the second intermission holding onto a 1-0 lead, while leading in shots 19-13.

“I was pumped when I scored that goal,” Clarke said. “The crowd got into it and they were behind us, and that really got the boys going. It gave us energy for the last 20 minutes. Our guys made a nice defensive play and I got the puck on the breakaway. I was just shooting and hoping it went in, and sure enough it went in. It was pretty awesome.”

Clarke was a former Prince Albert Ice Hawk of the PJHL from 2012-14. He put up 54 points in 60 games. He now plays for the Hague Royals in the Twin Rivers Hockey League, and has put up four points in seven games with the club.

Darian Clarke scored the game’s opening goal in the second period on a breakaway. It stood up to be the game winning goal. –-Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

Chris Wilson gave the Stars some extra breathing room with just over five minutes left in the third period, giving PBCN a huge 2-0 lead. An odd man rush in the Chiefs zone was made good by the Stars, as Wilson finished off a pretty tic tac toe play, banging home a shot on the doorstep right in front of the net, giving the Stars a two goal lead.

Stars goaltender Devin Buffalo was a brick wall all game, earning the shutout, as PBCN capped off an entertaining weekend, winning the Senators Cup.

“It was an amazing weekend, amazing all around,” Buffalo said. “I think our team really trusted the process and did all of the little things right, and we scored on the chances we got. As a goalie, you just try to keep the boys calm back there. I felt the pressure, but I tried my best to keep calm in the net, and just make one save at a time was my mentality.

The former Flin Flon Bomber netminder credited the fans in attendance for giving an extra shot of energy to the team.

“It was amazing to have a sold out barn here. It was pretty cool to play in front of so many people, especially during the final. It helped a lot hearing the cheers after every goal we scored, especially after the one we scored right before the third period. It was a loud building, and we used that to our advantage.”

“We came in second a few times (in previous tournaments),” Clarke added. “To finally win the tournament, it’s nice that we got the win around all of our friends and family.”