The Yorkton Terriers came off the Christmas break suffering a road loss, but have since rattled off three straight wins.
Yorkton now sports a record of 23-8-2-3 for 51-points, best in the Viterra Division, and the entire SJHL, but only one up on Melville who has 50. Estevan sits third with 39-points, while Weyburn has 31, lowest in the Viterra and tied for worst in the league with Notre Dame and La Ronge, bottom dwellers in the Kramer and Sherwood Divisions respectively. Both the Hounds and Ice Wolves have played four fewer games than the Red Wings.
Friday on Farrell Agencies Arena ice in Yorkton the host Terriers struck quickly as Tayler Thompson scored on the first shot of the game just 56-seconds in.
It was a short-lived Terrier lead, however, as Cole Hyrsky scored for the Mustangs at 1:33.
Adam Santoro, an affiliated player from the AAA Midget Beardy’s Blackhawks gave Yorkton a one-goal edge with a marker at 12:15.
The Terriers then put together a big second period. Dylan Johnson scored on the powerplay at 7:10, Matthew Cox scored his first of the season at 9:06 and Brett Boehm at 11:49 to give Yorkton a 5-1 lead.
Regan Wilton would add a second Melfort goal 18:42 through the third to wrap up the 5-2 contest.
Kale Thomson earned the win in the Terrier net facing 34-shots, while Austin Rediron started for the Mustangs, giving up all five-goals on 19-shots before giving way to Jack Romanuik who faced 12.
Kailum Gervais, who was tagged the game’s first star, said the contest was one where the Terriers had one main goal going in.
“Our focus was to get a full 60-minute game,” he said, adding the first two contests after Christmas the team had some lapses.
Gervais said players don’t plan to come off the break a bit flat, but he acknowledged it happens.
In his own case, earning first star was a confidence builder, as Gervais said he’s been dealing with some hurts this season, which on the Terriers seems the norm as several players have missed games this year.
“I’ve never really been part of a team with so many injuries,” he said, adding the young Midget-aged affiliated players who have been forced into action have more than did what was expected of them, including Adam Santoro and Corwin Stevely Friday.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan agreed the young fill-ins have done well.
“We’ve gotten real solid efforts from the APs that have come in,” he said. “… They play hard and get in on the forecheck.”
And the Terriers are still winning.
“We’re coming together as a team,” said Gervais.
Cassan said he was happy to see five goals against the Mustangs on home ice.
“It was good to see that from five different goal scorers,” he said.
Saturday in Melfort
The Terriers took a first period lead Saturday in Melfort too, as Boehm had the only marker of the frame, coming 32-seconds in.
Derek Falloon made it 2-0 with a Terrier goal in the final minute of the second period.
The Mustangs finally managed a goal again late in the third as Hyrsky broke the Riley Medves shut-out bid in at 18:25 of the final stanza.
Thompson added an empty-netter at 19:41 to wrap up a 3-1 Terrier win.
Medves faced 26-shots in the win for Yorkton, while Romanuik saw 20, in the loss.
Highway 10 rivalry
Monday, Dec. 30 the Terriers were in Melville, where they let one slip away late.
Tayler Thompson gave Yorkton a 1-0 lead, with the only marker of the first period.
Melville’s Adam Dibella knotted the score with the only marker of the second frame.
The Terriers regained the lead 2:41 into the third period on a goal by Midget affiliate player Adam Santoro; his first Junior ‘A’ goal.
Tyson Predinchuk tied the game 2-2 with a Mils goal at 11:47 of the third.
Landon Farrell would score on the powerplay at 17:53 to give the home team it’s first lead of the day.
Colin Mospanchuk added an insurance marker into an empty net to round out a 4-2 Millionaires win.
Kale Thomson faced 32-shots in the Terrier et while being tagged with the loss.
Isaiah Plett earned the win for the Mils, facing 28.
Cassan said the Terriers likely deserved a better fate in Melville.
“The first period we played really good there,” he said, adding they did sag in the second when he said Melville “were better.”
Still in the final frame Cassan said “we hadw a lead.”
And then the wheels fell off.
“We gave up three goals in the last eight minutes,” he said, adding the middle one of the three was caused when the Terriers “made a mistake.” A clearing effort went right on a Millionaire’s stick and was quickly in the Yorkton net.
The two teams met up again New Year’s Day afternoon in Yorkton.
The Terriers would score one in each period and hold the visitors to just one in the third to take a 3-1 win.
Cortlan Procter struck for the Terriers in the first, popping one at 17:24 of the first.
Brett Boehm added the second period marker mid way through the frame.
Boehm would be back to add his second of the night 2:18 into the third.
Dibella would spoil Thomson’s shut-out with a powerplay marker for Melville 9:37 into the final frame.
Thomson did get the win in the Yorkton net facing only 19 Millionaire shots, while Plett faced 31 in the loss.
Cassan said the Terrier start on home ice was not particularly good.
“Up until about five-minutes left in the first we were sloppy,” he said. “You hope that doesn’t happen after the Christmas break, but it does.”
Cassan said Procter’s late goal in the first “carried over into the second period,” and the Terriers started to roll.
Boehm’s two goals show he is fitting into the offensive role the Terriers hoped for when trading with Flin Flon for the forward.
Cassan said Boehm is getting some good chances, and he nows how to finish a chance with a goal.
The Terriers have two road games scheduled for the upcoming week, with a game in Battlefords Saturday and a game in Kindersley on Sunday.