The Yorkton Bantam UCT Terriers avenged their two regular season losses to the Prairie Storm by beating the SBAAHL’s top team when it mattered, twice beating them to sweep the South Division finals and advance to the SBAAHL Championship series by virtue of a 7-1 road victory on Thursday and a 4-2 home win on Sunday.
The Prairie Storm scored the first goal but the UCT Terriers rifled the next seven into the back of the net, including five in the second period, to take Game One of the Best of Three SBAAHL South Division finals in convincing fashion, 7-1 at the Balgonie Stardome on Thursday, March 13.
Tyson Manz opened the scoring for the home side, beating Yorkton netminder Alex Geddes on the powerplay with just under six minutes remaining in the opening frame.
Yorkton would draw even before the end of the period however, as Luke Schappert scored his first of three on the night with 2:33 left to send the two teams into the locker room even at one after 20 minutes.
Schappert’s second of the game just over three minutes into the second period gave the UCT Terriers a 2-1 lead.
Yorkton grabbed a two goal lead just two minutes later when Carson Welke beat Jordan Schmuland for his first of the game before Kaeden Taphorn and Brett Kemp made it 4-1 and 5-1 respectively.
UCT Terriers captain Tyler Stratechuk gave Yorkton a five goal cushion, scoring Yorkton’s sixth of the night with just five minutes left in the middle frame to make it 6-1 after 40 minutes of play.
The only thing left was for Schappert to round out the night with a hattrick; something he did with just 2:21 left in the game to make the final score 7-1 for the Yorkton UCT Terriers.
Registering the win for the Terriers was Geddes, his fifth of the playoffs. Schmuland suffered the loss in his worst outing of the season, surrendering seven goals in the defeat.
“We dominated them,” offered UCT Terriers head coach Graham Garrett following Thursday’s big win. ”We made them not want to be in the corners or on the wall. We won all the battles all over the ice.”
The curling rink at the Gallagher Centre might have had the brooms, but all the sweeping was being done on the Farrell Agencies Arena ice surface as the Yorkton UCT Terriers took Game Two of their Best-of-Three SBAAHL South Division final against the Prairie Storm 4-2, sweeping the top ranked Prairie Storm right out of the playoffs.
The Welke brothers, Carson and McKenzie, factored directly in three of the UCT Terriers four goals with Carson scoring two and McKenzie tallying one, while Keanan Sperling also found the scoresheet.
McKenzie Welke opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game when he snapped home a loose puck for a 1-0 Yorkton lead.
Carson Welke put the UCT Terriers ahead by two exactly three minutes later when he too beat Jordan Schmuland to make it 2-0.
The UCT Terriers offence continued to push the pace in the first period, however Schmuland was equal to the task for the remainder of the frame, resulting in a 2-0 Yorkton lead after 20 minutes of play.
The second period began much like the first, with Yorkton getting an early goal, this time by Sperling just 2:32 into the second period to make it 3-0.
A fourth UCT Terriers goal, Carson Welke’s second of the game, proved to be the end for Prairie Storm starter Jordan Schmuland as he was yanked in favour of Dean McNabb.
McNabb stonewalled the UCT Terriers for the rest of the period, ensuring his team trailed just 4-0 after 40 minutes of play.
An uncharacteristic lapse in concentration by the UCT Terriers in the early moments of the third period resulted in the Prairie Storm’s first goal of the game as Tanner Manz put the puck past Alex Geddes to make it 4-1.
A Colum McGaulay goal with just under 17 minutes left in the third made it 4-2 and gave the Prairie Storm some life, however Geddes stood tall for the rest of the game to make sure his UCT Terriers skated away with a 4-2 victory and the South Division title.
And while Geddes made some key saves in the third period the real story of the series was the Langenburg Line of Carson and McKenzie Welke and Luke Schappert; a line that scored 7-of-11 UCT Terriers goals in the series. “They’ve been dominant all series,” mentioned UCT Terriers bench boss Graham Garrett, continuing, “The Welke’s are just a great couple of hockey players and Schappert fits in so well with them. They do so many positive things on the ice and very few negative.
“That line was dominant. They didn’t have an answer for that line and that was probably the reason we won.”
The Yorkton Bantam UCT Terriers do not know when they’ll next see game action. However they do know their opponents will either be the North Division regular season champion Sask. Valley Vipers or the North Division third ranked North East Wolfpack.
North East currently has a one game to none lead over the top ranked Vipers thanks to a 5-2 road victory on Saturday night.