The Yorkton Terriers have advanced to the Sherwood Conference final.
The Terriers made it to the next round of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs by eliminating the Estevan Bruins in a best-of-seven affair.
Game 5 on home ice was the decisive one for the Yorkton Terriers in their Sherwood Conference semi final with Estevan.
Patrick Martens started the scoring 3:50 into the game to give the Terriers the early lead.
A short-handed effort by Jeremy Johnson made it 2-0 at 13:12.
The Bruins got back into the contest when Calder Neufeld scored at 15:07.
The same scoring scenario repeated in the second frame with Kailum Gervais and Martens scoring for the Terriers and Hudson Morrison replying for the Bruins to make it 4-2 after 40-minutes.
The third went the same way with Martens collecting his hat trick marker, Neufeld adding one of the Bruins, then Tyler Giebel adding an empty-netter to complete the 6-3 Yorkton win.
Dawson MacAuley faced 39-shots in the Terrier net to earn the win, while Curtis Martinu faced 26 in the loss for the Bruins.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the Terriers wanted the win Saturday.
“It was something we really wanted to do tonight on home ice,” he said.
Martens, who had the hat trick and seven goals in the five-game series, was modest in his three-goal performance quickly noting “a lot of support from my linemates.”
Of the three goals Martens said the second one stood out because he got off a very quick shot for the goal.
Cassan said the shot was special, noting while Martens may have had harder ones “I haven’t seen many quicker releases.”
The third goal was somewhat controversial with the Bruins suggesting the goal was off its moorings before the puck went in.
When asked his opinion Martens said, “I don’t know. I have no idea.”
While the Terriers were on their heels somewhat in the first period, being outshot, MacAuley stood his ground, and the short-handed goal by Johnson turned momentum the Terriers’ way.
Cassan said the Johnson goal was a timely one coming from a guy who rarely plays on the penalty kill, but with an extended powerplay by the Bruins he got a shift and took advantage.
“I didn’t want him freezing up (sitting on the bench),” said Cassan. He said Johnson has been good at coming up with key goals this season, and did it again Saturday.
Martens said after the first period the team “talked about it” and came out with greater effort the rest of the way.
Cassan agreed the first period the team was sluggish.
“Unfortunately for us it was not a very good period,” he said, adding the Terriers stayed in based on “some huge saves from Dawson (MacAuley).”
Thursday in Estevan Brady Norrish opened the scoring for Yorkton with a late first period goal.
The teams would battle through a scoreless second period, leaving the Terriers with the slim one-goal lead.
Wyatt Garagan would tie the score 1-1 with a goal 5:13 into the third.
Tyler Giebel would get the game-winner for Yorkton with a goal 13:44 into the final frame to complete a 2-1 win.
MacAuley faced 29-shots in the Terrier net for the win, while Martinu took the loss for Estevan facing 36.
Cassan said for a Terrier team which had not win a lot on the road this season, the win in Estevan was a definite confidence booster.
Game three of the series was Tuesday in Yorkton, and it too was a defensive struggle.
The teams played through scoreless first and second periods.
Finally in the third Patrick Martens scored at the 3:48 mark to give the Terriers a lead. Martens was back to score again at 14:11.
The game looked like a shut out in the making for MacAuley, but Tanner Froese spoiled things scoring the Bruins lone goal of the contest at 19:04 of the frame.
MacAuley faced 21 shots in the 2-1 win for Yorkton, while Martinu faced 40 for the Bruins.
The Terriers will face either Melville or Notre Dame in the next round. The Millionaires and Hounds were to face-off in Game 7 of the semi-final series Tuesday, but results were not available at press time.
It is expected the next round will start Friday at the Farrell Agencies Arena, with Game 3 likely next Tuesday.