Another week and the Yorkton Terriers retain the best record in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
The Terriers now sport a 19-5-1-3 record for 42 points, best in both the Viterra Division and the entire league.
Melville sits second in the Viterra with 38 points, followed by Estevan with 28 and Weyburn 23.
Friday night against the visiting Nipawin Hawks Tayler Thompson gave the Terriers the lead with a short-handed effort 6:52 into the first period.
The one-goal lead would stay intact until the 8:56 mark of the third period, when Thompson would strike for his second short-handed effort of the night.
Thompson also came close on a third short-handed chance.
“I really wanted it. I haven’t had a hattie (hat trick) in my Junior career,” he said.
Thompson added two short-handed goals in a game has not occurred often either, noting he could not remember another time as a Junior.
The first of his goals was one for the highlight reel.
“The goalie gave me the short side. I closed my eyes, shot, and it went in.”
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said Thompson’s goals were the result of him putting good pressure on Hawks breaking out of their own end on the powerplay rush.
By using speed he didn’t allow the break-out pass and was able to steal the puck on all three chances.
Cassan said they were good plays because they were low risk with three Terriers behind Thompson had he missed the steal.
“He (Thompson) picked his spots at the right time,” said the Terrier coach.
John Ellis would add an empty-netter late to round out the 3-0 victory.
Joe O’Brien took the loss in the Hawks net facing 30-shots.
Meanwhile Kale Thomson turned in his third consecutive shut-out turning away 29 Hawks shots.
“Things are just working out there for me,” said Thomson.
The Terrier goaltender said the team is doing a good job in front of him.
“They’re letting me see everything. They’re keeping guys to the outsider and letting me see the puck,” offered Thomson.
So did Thomson clock watch at all as he neared his third shut-out in a row?
“Kind of, but you’re trying not to,” he admitted. “You try not to think about it. You want to keep playing like it’s the first period.”
So is Thomson thinking about a Terrier record for scoreless minutes?
That is something he said he had not been wondering about, noting he is not even aware what the record might be but that Dawson McAuley had three-in-a-row, plus minutes last season.
“I just want to keep things rolling,” he said.
Cassan said Thomson continues to be the model of consistency for the Terriers, with a 1.68 goals against average, second best in the league.
“He’s (Thomson) really calm and composed at all times of the game,” said the Terrier coach, adding his personality as a goaltender is the same on and off the ice one of being “very even-keeled.”
It will be a bad luck Friday the 13th for either Estevan or Yorkton as the two teams are scheduled for action at the Farrell Agencies Arena.
Saturday the Terriers are back on the road, traveling to Wilcox to face the Notre Dame Hounds.
The Hounds will pay a return visit to Yorkton Tuesday, the last game before the Christmas break for the Terriers.