The Nechako North Stars are gearing up for an end-of-season push.
North Stars Coach David Boon said the team should have a full lineup this weekend after going up shorthanded against the two top teams in the league — Terrace and Quesnel.
“We’ve come in as an expansion team and we’re right there with the top teams in the league. The last couple of weeks we’ve lost to Quesnel by just one goal and Terrace by one goal. Those are the top teams in the league so from my point of view it’s a great success. We’ve bonded as a team and the guys have found their roles,” Boon said.
“On last weekend’s road trip we went short-handed — that’s pretty normal in senior hockey. We were 13 skaters and we lost to Terrace — who haven’t lost yet this year.”
Boon said the loss to Terrace felt close and winning the championship isn’t off the table.
“The guys are feeling really good. We’ve been working on having positive energy throughout the games. Instead of letting little things get to us. At the beginning of the year those things were bothering us and causing us to lose our focus — but over the past 12 games we’ve definitely built on that,” Boon said.
“We could be dangerous in the playoffs. We could go out and win it all.”
The 50 per cent capacity limits on games due to the pandemic has hurt revenue across the board for at the CIHL — but home teams are selling out and that helps. Boon credits quality hockey and fast-paced games for the high turnout.
“I’ve heard lots of talk around town. People are saying ‘Wow — that’s good hockey’… It’s good hockey, good caliber, really good hockey players and well coached teams.”
The next home game for the North Stars is in Fort St. James on Feb. 18.
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