The Yorkton Terriers are deadlocked at one game apiece with Notre Dame in their quarter final Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff series.
Saturday in Yorkton the Terriers showed little rust after two weeks off after topping the SJHL regular season standings.
Derek Falloon struck 9:13 into the opening period, with Riley Hunt and Kailum Gervais adding singles to give the host Terriers a 3-0 lead after the opening 20-minutes of the series opener.
Daylan Gatzke scored the only goal of the second period to extend the Yorkton lead to 4-0.
Jordan Ross would add a fifth Terrier goal in the third, before Sam Aulie finally replied for the Hounds spoiling Kale Thomson’s shut-out bid, the only shot among 20 to elude the Terrier netminder.
Alexi Thibaudeau allowed all five Terrier goals on 41-shots in the Notre Dame net.
Devon McMullen was chosen as the game’s first star, and the Terrier captain said they went into the game on something of a mission.
“We knew what we had to do,” he said, adding through two weeks of prep time the team focused on staying sharp and it worked. “We didn’t have any rust,” he offered.
In terms of practice leading up to the game McMullen said “we didn’t know who we were playing” so they just worked on their own systems.
He said they wanted to do the things which have made the Terriers successful all year.
One aspect of the Terriers success has been an offence where everyone contributes at times. Saturday all four lines had a goal.
“You get a bit of confidence from that,” said McMullen. “Everybody kind of played their roles.”
The team defence was also sharp in the win.
McMullen said it would have been great to get a shut out for Thomson, but added the playoffs are not about individual stats, but about getting the win, which they did.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said he was just happy to see the team come out strong after having extra time off following the strong regular season finish.
Like the Terrier captain, their coach was also happy be see a diverse offensive outing.
“It was good all four lines scored,” he said, adding “we want to try to come at teams with four lines that can play hard and play with heart.”
Cassan said when all four lines score it can take the pressure off the top line.
Defensively, Cassan said while he was pleased they allowed only 20-shots, he also liked Thomson’s play.
“Kale made a lot of clean saves,” he said, adding when he did give up a rebound it was kicked to the corner, or over the glass, so it did not create a secondary chance for the Hounds.
A night later in Wilcox Dylan Johnson gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead 12:32 into the first period of Game Two, but the home team would settle in for the win.
The Hounds used a short-handed goal by Andrew Cummings in the final minute of the opening stanza.
The second would be a scoreless frame, with Dion Antisin scoring the only goal of the third at 15:40 which proved the difference in a 2-1 contest.
Thibaudeau faced 29-shots in the Hounds net to earn the win, while Thomson took the loss facing 25.
Game three of the series was scheduled for last night (Tuesday) at the Farrell Agencies Arena, but results were not available at press time.
Game Four goes Thursday in Wilcox.
Game Five is in Yorkton Friday, with game six in the Hounds barn Sunday, and game seven back in Yorkton next Tuesday (March 25), again games six and seven are only if necessary in the best-of-seven series.