The Yorkton Terriers have started the 2013-14 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season with a home-and-home split with Weyburn.
The Red Wings won their home opener against Yorkton Friday with a 3-0 victory.
The game was scoreless through 40-minutes, but it took Brian Farkas of the Wings only 1:34 of the third to break the shut out.
Sam Williams would add a second at 5:07 and Donovan Lumb would add the third at 10:47 to complete the scoring.
Rylan Parenteau earned the shut out in the Weyburn net stopping all 22-shots, as Kale Thomson took the loss facing 24.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the Terriers played pretty well out of the gate in Weyburn.
“I thought the first period we played pretty good,” he said, adding especially given it was a road game where the hosts were opening their season.
But as the game wore on the ice tilted in Weyburn’s favour.
“The better team last night (Friday) did win,” said Cassan, adding the couple of quick early third period goals “were the difference in the game.”
That said Cassan said his netminder was not the issue.
“Two goals went in off our guys. You can’t fault him (Thomson) on it,” he said.
Cassan also noted the Wings with a new coach (Bryce Thoma) and a “fresh new start” are going to be tough this season. “Full marks for the win,” he added. “… They’re going to be a big challenge for us this season.”
Saturday the Terriers returned the favour with a 4-2 win at the Farrell Agencies Arena.
Ty McLean struck early for Weyburn scoring 12-seconds into the game, but Dylan Johnson would score 8:28 in to send the teams to the dressing room knotted 1-1 through 20-minutes.
After a scoreless second the powerplays took over. Tyler Giebel and Jordan Ross made it 3-1 Terriers with powerplay goals before Williams drew the Wings within one with a man advantage goal of his own.
Giebel would add an empty-netter to complete the Terrier win.
Thomson would record the win facing 24-shots, as Parenteau faced 39 in the loss.
Thomson said it was good to get back in the nets after playing limited minutes from New Year’s on.
“It feels good to get out there,” he said, adding he headed to camp this fall with a “nagging injury,” which limited his practice ice time, and had him miss the preseason. “It was a little tough.”
That said, Thomson admitted the bounces didn’t go his way in the season opener, with a couple of the Weyburn goals coming on deflections.
And the quick goal Saturday night was “a little frustrating … it kind of just caught me off guard,” but the team settled down in front of him and it was great “to get the first win,” in front of the hometown fans.
Cassan said the Terriers may have been caught flat after the pennant raising ceremony before the first puck drop.
“They just went to the net hard and got rewarded,” he said, adding that for the first 10-minutes the Terriers were sluggish, but settled into the game after their first goal.
Thomson goes into the season as the Terrier veteran and starter, a role he looks forward to, adding he is ready “to play lots of games in a row.” He added he doesn’t feel pressure from being the top man in net, saying he just tries “to take it one game at a time.”
It helps that Thomson said he has a defence in front of him which is probably “the best in the league.” And that defence “blocks lots of shots,” which is a huge help to a netminder.
Ross was chosen the game’s first star notching his first Junior ‘A’ goal.
“I couldn’t really believe it,” said the Terrier rookie, who added “it’s awesome” to make the Terriers, which he said is one of the top Junior ‘A’ teams in the province.
The goal by Ross is unlikely to be his last, as the forward who played with the AAA Midget Trojans last season, said he expects to bring some offence to the team.
Injured at Christmas last year which limited his time with the Trojans, Ross said he believes his strength is offence “and hard work.”
Coming off a shortened season, and stepping up a league, Ross admitted it was tough making the move up.
Even the opening night crowd was an adjustment for Ross.
“I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big. I was a little nervous,” he said.
But, Ross does believe he can play a role with the team.
And he has only one team-focused goal. “To just get the team into the playoffs.”
Cassan said Ross “is a coachable young man” adding he was not great in Weyburn, but after being talked to “showed a lot of improvement” in Saturday’s contest. The Terrier coach said as long as Ross is dedicated to getting better he can be a good addition to the team.
The Terriers host Battlefords tonight (Wednesday) at the Farrell Agencies Arena, and then the Estevan Bruins roll in for action Saturday.