The Yorkton Harvest slid into fifth spot in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League standings this past week after grabbing five out of a possible six points.
“I’m happy with how we have been playing,” says Harvest head coach Jeff Odgers. “You have to be happy with getting five out of six points. We played hard against some good teams.”
“We’ve got contributions from all four lines. A guy like Chase McKersie down the stretch here has been unbelievable for us. Nic Pouliot has stepped up, too. And our third and fourth-line guys have stepped up.”
The Harvest kicked off their three-game home stand in the Gallagher Centre against the Tisdale Trojans on Wednesday, February 6.
After peppering 50 shots on Tisdale puck-stopper Nik Amundrud, Yorkton came away with a 7-3 victory.
The Harvest and Trojans exchanged goals in the first period, Eric Meyer and Donavon Lumb scored for Yorkton with Drew Litwin and Jordan Ross for Tisdale.
In the second period, Lynden Pastachak found the back of the net for the Harvest, followed by Cole McBride for the Trojans, who sit in eighth spot with an 18-17-3-1 record.
Yorkton almost burnt out their goal light in the final period. Four of their 22 shots hit the mesh with Ethan Bear, Logan Herchak, Turner Ottenbreit, and Jaden Kreklewich notching one apiece.
“We wanted to push in the third period and we did,” says Odgers. “I thought that was one of our best periods of the entire season.”
Drew Litwin netted the Trojans’ lone goal of the period, but it obviously wasn’t enough for them to stay on par with the Harvest’s scoring surplus.
Three days later, the Harvest hosted the Notre Dame Hounds on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Despite falling behind early in the game, Yorkton pulled away in the latter half to take a 7-3 win.
Team captain Nicholas Pouliot, who is an Everett Silvertips draft pick, put the Harvest out in front at the 16:36 mark in the opening period.
Yorkton’s lead didn’t last long, though. Egor Popov knotted the game up at one just 32 seconds later. The Hounds’ Lucas Hiebert closed out the period’s scoring, putting his squad up by one.
Notre Dame potted the first goal of the second period with Luke McCaw notching an unassisted marker.
Down by two, the Harvest put it into fifth gear with 30 minutes left in the match. Chase McKersie, Koal Roberts, and Lynden Pastachak lit the lamp to go up by one.
The Harvest picked it up in the third right where they left the prior period. Donavon Lumb, Ethan Bear, and Mckersie closed out the game’s scoring to wrap up the contest.
Odgers gave full credit to the Hounds’ quick start, believing they are better than their 12-23-3-0 record.
“They came out really fast,” he says. “And I think they are a very underrated team for the points they have. We made some adjustments and our reaction time was where we needed it to be. And we had some guys step up.”
In their final home regular-season game of the year, the Harvest squared off against the Regina Pat Canadians.
The two club’s previous three games went into overtime; therefore, it was only fitting their Feb. 10 match didn’t buck the trend. But unlike their last two contests, the five minutes of extra time solved the tie.
The Queen City Kids found the back of the net in the final minute of overtime to take the 6-5 win.
Dakota Odgers, whose WHL rights are owned by the Swift Current Broncos, netted the first goal of the game at the 14:21 mark in the opening period.
In the latter half of the period, Regina’s Zach Zborosky and Yorkton’s Chase McKersie exchanged goals.
The Pat Canadians took the Harvest to the cleaners in the second. Mitch Lipon, Emery Anderson, and Troy Murray put pucks past Yorkton goaltender Spencer Bomboir to give Regina a two-goal lead.
Turner Ottenbreit lessened Yorkton’s second-period collapse, scoring his third of the year from the back end.
Mckersie kept up his hot streak in the final period, potting his fourth goal in two games.
The Pat Canadians’ Emery Anderson and the Harvest’s Corwin Stevely notched one apiece to setup an exciting final five minutes. Pastachak hit the post with less than two minutes left with lady luck on Regina’s side. Meanwhile, the Queen City Kids had a couple rushes, but they were unable to capitalize.
The Pat Canadians’ Troy Murray played hero in overtime, notching his second of the night with 53 seconds left.
Despite the loss, Odgers was happy with his team’s late push, noting it was his club’s second game in as many days.
“Regina didn’t play yesterday and we did,” says the former NHL player. “I thought our pushback showed good character.”
The 18-14-5-3 Harvest are now five-points behind the Moose Jaw Generals for fourth spot in the SMAAAHL. They sit one-point up on the Saskatoon Blazers, two-points ahead of the Battlefords Stars, and four-points in front of the Trojans to close out the eight playoff spots.
Yorkton hits the road next weekend. They square off against the first-place Prince Albert Mintos on Saturday, followed by traveling to Saskatoon on Sunday to take on the red-hot Blazers.