The Yorkton Terriers had a couple of bumps on the road on the weekend, but still lead their conference.
The Terriers remain atop the SJHL's Sherwood Conference with a record of 26-10-1-2 and 55 points, three points up on Melville. Notre Dame sits third with 47-points, followed by Kindersley with 33, Estevan with 28 and Weyburn with 24.
The Terriers rolled into Nipawin Saturday and thanks to a goal by Kailum Gervais led the Hawks 1-0 after the opening period.
However, it would prove the only goal Yorkton would get in a 4-1 loss.
Jeff Datoff and Tad Kozun gave the host Hawks a 2-1 lead through 40-minutes.
Eli Lichtenwald and Tayler Balog added third period goals for the Hawks, Balog's into an empty net.
Dawson MacAuley faced 26-shots in the loss for Yorkton, while Davis Jones faced 29-shots in the Nipawin nets for the win.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the Terriers played better in Nipawin than the score might indicate.
"Some nights you give a very good effort and don't get the results," he said, suggesting Saturday was one of those days.
"We had a lot better start, a lot more energy on the bench."
"But when the Terriers rang one off the post on the powerplay and the puck went to the Hawk coming out of the box to score with two seconds left in the second period, momentum shifted to the Hawks who carried it through the third," said Cassan.
Friday in LaRonge the Terriers and Icewolves played it even until overtime.
Dylan Johnson opened the scoring with Brett McNevin replying for the host team to leave the teams tied 1-1 after 20-minutes.
Jeremy Johnson scored 2:46 into the second for the Terriers, but Spencer Brennan again tied the game 2-2.
In the third McNevin gave the home team a lead, but with 1:26 left on the clock Zak Majkowski knotted the game 3-3.
In the five-minute, four-on-four overtime Sebastien Beauregard scored at the 2:50 mark to give the Icewolves a 4-3 win.
Kale Thomson took the loss facing 39-shots, while Myles Hovdebo faced 41 in the LaRonge net for the win.
Cassan said 'in spite of an overtime finish, the Terriers did not have a good game.' He noted that on a post game radio show he had stated "I thought the team that deserved the two points got the two points that night.
"It's one of the few times this year I've been disappointed with the effort."
While saying it was a good effort late to force overtime, "had we won in overtime we probably wouldn't have deserved too."
The Terriers did have a long day, having hit the highway at 6:30 a.m. game day for the drive north, but Cassan said that was not a good reason for the lacklustre effort.
"The guys shouldn't use that as an excuse," he said, adding LaRonge, Flin Flon and Nipawin regularly face long days on the bus. "To have to do it once in a season, I don't think that holds any water."
Win in Wilcox
Last Tuesday (Jan. 8) Yorkton was in Wilcox to face the Notre Dame Hounds.
Catlin Foley gave the home team a 1-0 lead through the opening 20-minutes.
The second period went the Terriers' way as the outscored the Hounds 3-1 in the frame.
Yorkton had goals from Devon McMullen, Dylan Baer and Jeremy Johnson, while Dion Antisin responding for the home team.
In the third Nathan Murray added a pair for Yorkton, including an empty-netter, while Antisin had his second for the Hounds, to round out the 5-3 Terrier win.
The SJHL trade deadline was last Thursday, and several teams in the Sherwood Conference made last day moves, including the Terriers.
Yorkton added 18-year-old forward Josh Ellis from the North Okanagan Knights.
Cassan said since Ellis was on a Junior 'B' card in B.C., it was a pickup rather than a trade.
"He's (Ellis) someone we've known about for a bit," said the Terrier coach, noting he was on Terrier scout Gary Carson's list for some time.
Cassan said while at the Mac's Midget Tournament in Calgary over the Christmas break he had a chance to meet with one of the guys who was recommending Ellis, and from there they made the move.
"He's going to be a pretty good team guy," said Cassan, adding Ellis plays both centre and wing. "He plays pretty good on the penalty kill. He's pretty aware defensively. He can be a shut down guy.
In other Sherwood moves the Estevan Bruins have Dylan Smith back in the fold. The 20-year-old had 37-goals and 74-points to lead the Bruins a year ago. He joined the EJHL's Connecticut Oilers to start this season, but will return to the Bruins for part of a fourth season shortly.
The Weyburn Red Wings traded defenceman Jens Johnson, 20, to the Notre Dame Hounds for 18-year-old rearguard Colton Laraque.
The Kindersley Klippers traded 20-year-old forward Brett Printz to the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for future considerations.
Melville added forward Tyson Predinchuk from the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs.
Thursday the LaRonge Icewolves roll into the city to face the Terriers at the Farrell Agencies Arena.
Saturday Yorkton heads south to play Notre Dame.
And next Tuesday the Terriers host Weyburn.