Stars Looking For NIHL Playoff Push

Billingham Stars in action against Murrayfield Racers

The Billingham Stars came into the season with high expectations. With some games still to play the stars have some work to do before cementing a playoff seed. 

The stars, a NIHL division 1 team, have played better hockey in seasons past but have yet to put together a full 60 minutes of play.  The team has talent and a solid foundation but has not put everything together for a serious run at the playoffs.

Stars top scorer, Chris Sykes, leads the team with 35 points in only 19 games. Those points come on 16 goals and 19 assists, which his 35 points rank sixth in league scoring. 

Although Sykes leads the team in scoring the team is balanced when it comes to production. Every player is chipping in with offense and almost every player in the team has at least one point. 

Thomas Brown is the Billingham Stars leading goalie. Although his GAA doesn’t show it he has put together a solid showing during his play, putting together a respectable .903 save %.

The overall play doesn’t stop with the original lineup from game one. Newcomer, defenseman Patriks Grigors has played in 13 games, producing one goal, 8 assists for 9 points while also spending 58 minutes in the penalty box. Another newcomer, forward Finley Bradon, has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in 7 games. 

The stars, who have not made the playoffs since the 2017-18 season, have to find a way to put everything together. One night the offense is there and the next night it is defense. If they can put together a full team effort every night then the playoffs are a good possibility.

The Stars currently sit 5th in the north division, 20 points behind division-leading Solway Sharks. For a playoff spot to be a reality the stars need to start putting together some winning streaks soon. 

The Stars have a balanced attack but will need to find more offense and tighten up defensively. They have scored a total of 47 goals but have allowed 56.  The team is also a -9 in the +\- department. 

Passing one team at a time and not looking ahead should be a goal of the Stars. Playing consistent, steady hockey and getting a point instead of no points will certainly help the playoff push. Now is the time for a winning streak, now or never.

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