COCHRANE, Ont. - One of the most successful seasons in North Stars history came to an abrupt end after Thursday’s 9-4 loss at the hands of the Oakville Blades.
After coming into the Dudley-Hewitt Cup ranked second in the nation, the North Stars were swept by the field and outscored by a total of 16-5 in the process.
The Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League did the exact opposite, winning all three round robin games and clinching a spot in the cup final on Saturday.
The North Stars were mathematically eliminated from the playoff stage the night prior.
Playing for pride in Cochrane Ont., the North Stars surrendered five goals in the opening period.
Their goalless drought - which had lasted for over eighty minutes of play - was snapped by Kyle Auger in the scond period. The defenseman finished his impressive season with two goals in the game.
NHL prospect Keighan Gerrie scored his only goal of the tournament with just over a minute left in the third period.
Jayden Mrakic also added a goal.
Backup goaltender Dougie Newhouse allowed nine goals on 28 shots.
For Oakville, nine skaters tallied multi-point games. Right-winger Spencer Kersten added two goals and an assist and now leads the tournament in points.
The Blades will await the winner of Hearst and Cochrane who will play in the semi-final on Friday.
Despite a record of 49-5-1 during the SIJHL’s regular season, the North Stars 0-3 record at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup ensures an earlier-than-expected end to their season.