It was sort of a Jekyll and Hyde weekend for the Yorkton Terriers who split a pair of road games.
Friday was the Jekyll night of the trip, as Yorkton rolled into Flin Flon where Tyler Giebel would score the lone goal of the first period to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead through 20-minutes.
Daylan Gatzke would strike with a goal 31-seconds into the second, then popped another at 3:26 to extend the Terrier lead.
Josh Ellis would score late (18:53) into the frame to make it a 4-0 bulge for the visitors.
The third would see Austin Calladine score two for the Bombers in just under four minutes, sandwiching a Terrier goal by Devon McMullen to round out a 5-2 Yorkton victory.
Kale Thomson faced 25-shots in the Terrier nets for the win, while Simon Hofley faced 51 in the loss.
“We had a really good game … We did a lot of good things,” offered Terrier head coach Trent Cassan.
Cassan said the return of Gatzke and Ellis to the line up after being injured seemed to energize the team.
“Those guys had a strong game,” he said.
A night later it was all Hyde for the Terriers in Nipawin.
The Terriers found themselves down 3-0 just 11:34 into the game which forced Thomson to the bench after facing only seven shots.
Kris Spriggs scored for the Hawks 1:35 into the game, with Tayler Balog then beating Thomson at 8:26 and 11:34
Riley Medves would take over in the Yorkton nets and quickly giving up a goal to Mitch Doell at 13:34 of the first period.
Doell would again put one past Medves at 1:35 of the third on the powerplay to round out a 5-0 win.
Medves faced 20-shots after entering the game while Thomson took the loss stopping just four of seven shots before being yanked.
The Terriers fired 41-shots in the loss, but Hawk netminder Joe O’Brien turned away each one to record the shut-out.
“Against the Hawks we had a very poor start,” said Cassan, adding that even changing netminders did not help as Nipawin quickly potted a fourth goal.
The Terriers then took their time out, but Cassan said it was “obvious” nothing was really working that night in spite of generating more than 40-shots.
“We never really played physical,” said Cassan.
Cassan said in spite of three quick goals against, he was not blaming Thomson for the loss.
“It was more a reflection of trying to spark the team,” he said of the goaltender switch.
The Terrier coach said the team struggled early defensively giving up a couple of odd-man-rushes which contributed to the early woes.
So what happened in 24-hours to go from strong game to lacklustre effort?
Cassan said perhaps, as coaches, they “praised them for their effort Friday and for some of them it got to their heads.”
While Cassan said a loss is always less than he wants from his team, in Nipawin he had some added concern.
“There were a few concerns about them being good teammates Saturday … There were a few things that went on in the game,” he said, adding he expects as Terriers they “have to have each other’s back … It’s about being there for each other and they weren’t.”
Cassan said the situation is one where “my expectations of the group of guys we’ve got as a team is more than they showed (Saturday).”
The weekend road split has left the Yorkton Terriers second in the SJHL’s Viterra Conference with a 24-10-2-4 record and 54-points, four back of front-running Melville with 58. Estevan sits third with 46, with Weyburn residing in the basement with 35.
The Terriers were scheduled to host La Ronge last night (Tuesday), but results were not available at press time.
Friday Yorkton heads to Humboldt to face the Broncos.
Saturday Kindersley rolls east to play the Terriers in a game which will be played in Esterhazy.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 28, Flin Flon will visit the Farrell Agencies Arena.