The Yorkton Harvest finally found the win column again this past Saturday when they beat the Beardy’s Blackhawks 3-1 at the Willow Cree Memorial Sport Centre in Duck Lake. They then found the loss column once again as they dropped a close 2-1 decision to the streaking Prince Albert Mintos at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert.
The weekend results leave the Harvest with a 9-11-4-2 record, good enough for eighth place in the SMAAAHL and three points behind the Saskatoon Contacts for seventh overall. The Harvest are also nine points up on the Swift Current Legionnaires for the eighth and final playoff spot with just under half a season to go.
The Harvest jumped out to an early lead against Beardy’s when Jaden Kreklewich beat the Blackhawks netminder with his sixth of the season to make it 1-0 for Yorkton. Damian Bentz increased the Harvest lead to two with 13:01 left in the first period with his third goal of the campaign when he took the Tanner Jeannot pass and put the puck in the back of the net. The Harvest rounded out the first period scoring barrage exactly one minute later on Riley Rozdeba’s third goal of the season to make it 3-0.
Beardy’s could only muster one goal in response in the form of a Logan Schatz shot that eluded Harvest goaltender Carter Phair in the second period, meaning that the Yorkton Harvest finally got the monkey off their backs, ending their seven game winless streak with a 3-1 road victory.
But while a win is nice, Harvest Head Coach Dan Cross said he wasn’t satisfied with the amount of goals his team was able to score. “We scored three quick goals to go up three nothing and then it was just one of those games where we just went back and forth, back and forth,” said the Harvest coach. “We got the win, but the game wasn’t too special. It wasn’t that exciting of a game and I was hoping maybe we would get a few more. It didn’t happen and then it (lack of offensive production) carried over to our next game.”
Sunday in P.A.
The Harvest entered their game on Sunday as winners of one straight game while the Mintos meanwhile boasted the league’s longest winning streak at nine games; a winning streak that had propelled the Mintos into second place in the SMAAAHL with a 17-6-4-0 record.
Although the Harvest fell victim to the Mintos momentum in the form of a 2-1 defeat, the only Yorkton goal coming off the stick of captain Corwin Stevely, Cross felt that his team played a great game against one of the league’s top teams. “We played really well,” noted Cross. “Granted the Mintos were missing a couple of their better players but I thought we outplayed them for most of the game but just didn’t get the bounces.”
Not getting the bounces pretty much sums up the Harvest season so far. Something the Head Coach agrees with. “We’re playing really hard and we’re playing well, especially defensively, but we’re just not getting those chances.”
“We’re outshooting teams and we’re still not getting the two points at the end of the game which is really frustrating for the whole team.”
Despite the subpar record (9-11-4-2) and the struggles his team has suffered, especially offensively and on the special teams, Cross still says he is not concerned with the effort his team has put forward this season. “No I’m not concerned with the effort my team is putting out or even how they’re playing. It’s just a matter of somehow finding a way to get those greasy goals in there and just get on a roll. Once we start scoring and we stop squeezing our sticks so hard I think we’ll be fairly successful, especially in the stretch towards the playoffs.”
The Harvest have just one more game before the Christmas break. That game will be on Thursday, December 19 at the Farrell Agencies Arena when they host the fifth place Tisdale Trojans (14-9-1-2) at 8:00p.m.