The Yorkton Terriers put another two in the win column at the friendly confines of the Farrell Agencies Arena.
The wins leave the Terriers perched atop the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Viterra Division with an 8-3 record and 16 points, two up on Melville. Estevan and Weyburn sit tied for third with eight points.
Sunday Yorkton hosted Estevan, with the Bruins taking the lead on a goal by Darcy DeRoose scoring the only goal of the frame.
In the second the Terriers would take the lead on goals by Tyson Enzie and Joshua Ellis.
In the third it was all Terriers as they added three more unanswered goals by Derek Falloon, Tyler Giebel and Brady Norrish.
Matt Gibney suffered the loss in the Estevan net facing 47-shots, while Kale Thomson backstopped the Terriers to the win facing 30.
Zach Zadorozniak was the game’s second star with a pair of assists. The rookie forward from Foam Lake, SK., said the Terriers did not have a good first period, and they heard about in the dressing room.
“He (coach Trent Cassan) was really upset after the first,” he said.
But the message imparted by Cassan must have worked because the Terriers played strong through the second and third.
Zadorozniak said it was a case of growing confidence as a team too.
“We knew what we had to do. We didn’t panic,” he said, adding the team is feeling good on home ice, “We’re getting really comfortable here.”
While the team took some dressing room heat after 20-minutes, the goal against was a strange one.
“We thought it was hooking,” offered Zadorozniak, who said the puck was sort of “flicked in front” from behind the net, where it hit off a couple of players and dropped into the net.
As for his own performance, Zadorozniak who comes to Junior hockey on a different path than most, said he is settling in.
The young forward did not play AAA Midget as most aspiring Junior players do. In fact last season he played house league Midget in his home town.
“I was called up on the Senior team too,” he added, adding “I think that was the best decision I made.”
Zadorozniak explained, “my older brother played on that team so I sort of knew what to expect.”
Toiling with the Foam Lake Flyers in the Fishing Lakes Hockey League meant the Midget-aged Zadorozniak was lining up against adult players, and that he said really aided his development, and helped him adapt quickly to Junior hockey.
“I got used to it (Junior) really fast,” he said, adding he has tried to keep his focus on helping the team. “… I try to work hard and keep it simple, and focus on my game.”
Zadorozniak said now he just wants to contribute when he has a chance.
“Obviously I’m not going to get in every night, but when I do I want to make an impact,” he said, adding he thinks he can do that by “just working hard,” and coming to every game with energy and a good attitude.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the Terriers have had recent success mining Midget below the AAA level, pointing to Jeremy Johnson who led the team in goals last season before graduating Junior, and his brother Dylan, still with the club.
While AA and AAA Midget might be the path for most “not everyone has to play at those levels,” said Cassan.
Cassan said he and Terrier Director of Scouting Garry Carson both heard good reports about Zadorozniak.
“A couple of people had a lot of good things to say,” said Cassan, adding with the success they had with the Johnsons they were up “to giving him a chance.”
Saturday night against LaRonge the Terriers jumped out to a 2-0 after 20-minutes on goals by Brady Norrish and Tyson Enzie.
In the second the teams traded two-goal efforts, Derek Falloon and Chase Norrish for Yorkton and Jorden Rooke and Sebastien Beauregard for the Ice Wolves.
Beauregard would score his second of the night mid way through the third to make it a one-goal game, but Yorkton would hold on for a 4-3 win.
Tyler Fuhr took the loss in the LaRonge net facing 35 shots, while Riley Medves faced 25 in the Terrier net for the victory.
Looking at the two wins Cassan started by praising his netminders.
“I thought both nights we got really good goaltending,” he said, adding Medves was steady in earning his second straight win Saturday, and Thomson having maybe his best start of the campaign Sunday.
Cassan said it might be a case of Medves pushing Thomson to be better.
“Riley (Medves) having two good starts maybe puts a little bit of pressure on Kale (Thomson) to respond, and that’s what he did,” offered the Terrier coach.
Cassan said it was also a positive seeing secondary scoring showing up, with the line of Enzie, Falloon and Zadorozniak contributing in both games.
“Some of the young guys are turning the corner,” he said.
Friday the Terriers will play in the Battlefords, then swing south to face Kindersley Saturday.
Next Tuesday (Oct. 29), Yorkton plays in Estevan.