The Yorkton Harvest ended their exhibition action on a sour note.
A Tristan Elder shorthanded goal in the last three minutes of the game led to the Harvest dropping their Sunday game 5-3 against the Tisdale Trojans in the Farrell Agencies Arena.
“You never want to give up a late goal,” said Harvest forward Jaden Kreklewich who notched an assist in the game. “But it’s just pre-season and we can learn from that mistake for the regular-season.”
The Harvest started the game on a strong note; Chase McKersie and Tanner Jeannot potted one apiece in the first period to give them a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
In the second period, Levi Morin netted one on the power play, but the Trojans’ Tyler Olson and Drew Litwin went onto to tie up the game at three.
Following Elder’s marker, Olson scored an empty-net goal for Tisdale to wrap up the game.
Yorkton’s Carson Bogdan stopped 27 of 31 shots.
Taking into account his club was shorthanded with five players in the press box because of suspensions and injuries, head coach Dan Cross was pleased with his team’s effort as a whole.
“In general, (the game) was good,” said Cross. “We’ve been working on our pre-game preparation and I thought we came out and had an awesome first period. Unfortunately, we let in a goal late in the game and we made some little mistakes that they capitalized on.”
“Anytime you’re missing a couple key guys and a few veterans it’s going to hurt a bit. But that’s really no excuse since they probably didn’t have their full lineup.”
Yorkton starts their regular-season action at home next weekend with back-to-back contests against the Swift Current Legionnaires on Saturday and Sunday.
The Harvest don’t know exactly what to expect from the Legionnaires. They just know they have to be ready for a battle to come out on the winning side.
“We expect they are going to be ready to play so we’re going to go hard,” said Cross.
Last season, under former head coach Jeff Odgers, the Harvest got off to a rough 2-7-1 start, before going onto finish the year with a 22-14-5-3 record. Cross hopes to avoid getting off to back-to-back rocky starts by getting his club focused before games and getting them in peak physical condition.
“Our goal is the first ten games this year is to reverse our record from last year,” said the head coach. “We’re trying to do the pre-game preparation and getting them ready to go to start flying right off the bat. If we start games off well then we hope to have a real strong start to the season, too. And just trying to get the guys in shape. Most of them came into camp in shape, but there are a few guys that we’re still working on.”
It seems the Harvest’s most notable strength is from the blueline in. Returning goaltender Carson Bogdan proved last year that he can carry a team in the regular-season. On the back end, meanwhile, they have four returning players, Turner Ottenbreit, Logan Leslie, Levi Morin and Logan Karakochuk, and rookie Adam Neibrandt appears to be ready to make an immediate impact.
Cross doesn’t want his team to play a conservative style, though. He wants his club to play a high-tempo game that keeps their opponents’ on their toes.
“We are going to force the tempo and use the d-men to move the puck up to our forwards,” said Cross. “