The Yorkton Terriers played a pair of preseason games last week, winning both.
But Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the final scores are not the key in preseason.
“The big thing is the evaluation part,” said the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team head.
Last Wednesday Yorkton won 7-2 in Manitoba against the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
“There was only one vet. Basically it was all new players,” said Cassan. adding the score was reflective of play in the sense he thought “they showed well on the road.”
Evaluating without veterans in the line up for comparison evaluation is more challenging, but Cassan said he looks for players who elevate the play of those around them.
If players start to show up from game-to-game with linemates changing nightly, it’s an indication they help others play well.
“You look for players making guys around them better,” said Cassan.
Friday in Yorkton the Terriers won 4-2 over Swan Valley, also from the MJHL, and again he liked what he saw.
“All four lines contributed in the game. Each lined scored a goal,” said Cassan.
Overall the two games have shown players are competing for spots, offered Cassan.
“Some guys at camp that needed to up their game did,” he said.
The Terriers are searching for at least one new netminder to start the season, and so far there appears a competitive group in camp. In the two games four different net minders each saw about 30-minutes of players, each allowing one goal.
“All four goaltenders played strong,” said Cassan.
The consistency from netminder-to-netminder make Cassan’s job harder, but he doesn’t mind.
“It does make the decisions tough, but that’s what you want,” he said, adding depth in terms of talent is never a bad thing.
Cassan said based on two games no decisions were finalized and the same players remain in camp.
But things will solidify in terms of what line-up will be around come opening night of the regular season this week, as the Terriers play four exhibition games in five days.
“It’s a good stretch of tough games,” said Cassan, adding that will be great for final talent evaluation.
The action includes hosting Waywayseecappo at the Farrell Agencies Arena tonight (Wednesday).