The Yorkton Bantam UCT ‘AA’ Terriers kicked off their season by splitting a pair of road games in Saskatoon.
It goes without saying that new head coach Graham Garrett wanted two wins instead of one, but taking into account it’s very early in the year, he was pleased with his club’s effort.
“I was happy with the split because a lot of the players are still getting used to the league,” said Garrett, who formerly coached the Yorkton Harvest. “We have guys transitioning from peewee to bantam and bantam ‘A’ to ‘AA’ so it will take some work to get everyone adjusted.”
In their first contest on Friday, four goals from Carson Miller led the Terriers over the Saskatoon Maniacs in the 7-4 affair.
Following the Maniacs taking a two-goal lead after the first period, the Terriers knotted the game up at two in the second frame.
In the third, Miller netted three while Derrick Budz and Cody Dubas notched one apiece to give Yorkton a commanding four-goal lead before Saskatoon scored one more with roughly over a minute left in the game.
“The offense really got going in the third period,” said Garrett. “Miller is an exceptional hockey player and it showed by him getting some key goals.”
On Saturday, the Terriers felt the other end of a 7-4 game against the Sask Valley Vipers.
The Vipers had a stranglehold on the game following 40 minutes of play as they took a 5-1 lead.
The Terriers came back in the third period, outscoring the Vipers 3-1 in the first 17 minutes as Keenan Taphorn scored a pair and Carson Welke potted one. But Jared Hamm put the nail on the coffin for the Vipers with an empty-net goal, which completed his hat trick, with only 45 seconds left on the clock.
For Garrett, it was nice to get back behind the bench since leaving the Harvest a couple of years ago.
“It’s good to be back in hockey,” he said. “I enjoy coaching and being a part of the game. Like the players adjusting to this level, it will take some getting used for me to adjust to being a coach again, but I’m happy to be back coaching.”
The Terriers play two more road games before finally playing at home. They take on the Regina Pat Blues on Oct. 2 and the Regina Foxes on Oct. 7.
“Now that we have two games down, the guys will have a better idea of what to expect against Regina even though we don’t know how good they will be,” noted Garrett.