Saskatchewan’s top two Peewee ‘AA’ hockey teams, the Yorkton Sherring Gold Terriers and the Warman Wildcats, met in the finals of the Peewee ‘AA’ Provincial championship and what resulted was one of the best two-game total goal series to ever be played.
A series, which, in the end was won by Yorkton 12-8 thanks to an 8-6 win in game one and a 4-2 victory on the road in game two.
Sunday in Warman
The Sherring Gold Terriers knew that all they had to do was keep the game close on Sunday and they’d be Provincial champions once again thanks to Saturday’s hard fought 8-6 victory on home ice.
However that was easier said than done as Warman, who had not lost a game at home all season long, boasted the top offence in the province and showed it early on as the Wildcats pounced quickly.
Goals by leading scorer Austin Lamotte and Kyrell Sopotyk gave Warman a 2-0 lead and, more importantly, evened the Provincial series at eight apiece.
Alex Moar drew the Terriers to within one late in the first period to send the Terriers into the first intermission down just one at 2-1.
A pair of Yorkton goals, one each by Aiden Bulych and Kaeden Korczak, made it 3-2 Terriers after 40 minutes of play.
A late third period goal by Zach McIntyre solidified a 4-2 Yorkton win and clinched the 2013-14 Saskatchewan Peewee ‘AA’ Provincial championship for the Sherring Gold Terriers.
“It feels pretty good,” said Sherring Gold Terrier head coach Chad Korczak following the game. “Every provincial title is special but going into this season we didn’t really know what to expect or what was out there.”
What was out there were several tough teams, such as the Weyburn Youngfellow Wings and the Warman Wildcats. However Korczak’s Peewee Terriers were prepared for everything, including a 2-0 deficit in one of the hardest rinks to play in, the Warman Legends Centre. “Yeah we were down 2-0 early and all of a sudden the series is tied at 8-8,” offered Korczak. “But we just thought that if we could keep doing what we were doing and stick to the game plan that we’d be okay. The kids bought in and did everything that we asked and they competed hard and all of a sudden we’re 2013-14 Provincial champions.”
Saturday at the FAA
Saturday’s game one match up between the Yorkton Sherring Gold Terriers and the Warman Wildcats was like two heavyweight boxers going toe-to-toe. Neither team wanted to give an inch.
However it was Yorkton that landed the first blow when regular season leading scorer Zach McIntyre crashed the net and banged in his own rebound past Warman netminder Tyler Peterson to give Yorkton a 1-0 lead.
Yorkton connected with another shot later in the period to go up two. Colby Vranai gave the Terriers the two goal cushion not long after as he and Aiden Bulych broke in on a 2-on-1.
Bulych’s shot was stopped by Peterson but Vranai was there to backhand the puck into the back of the net for a 2-0 Terriers lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Terriers continued their onslaught just 33 seconds into the second frame. Yorkton captain Kaeden Korczak made it 3-0 when he gathered up his own rebound, skated around the net and scored on a beautiful wrap-around.
Kaeden’s younger brother, Ryder, made it 4-0 when he was Johnny-on-the-spot on the powerplay, firing home the loose puck for a four goal lead.
Warman found the scoreboard less than two minutes later, however, as Adam Power countered the Ryder Korczak goal with one of his own to make it a 4-1 game.
Ethan Evanovich restored the four goal Terriers lead just under three minutes later, however, as his weak shot eluded Peterson to make it 5-1.
That was all for Peterson on the night as the Wildcats coaching staff opted to replace him with Corbin Christianson following the fifth Terrier goal.
Holden Knights became just the second Wildcat player to beat Nolan Maier on the night to make it 5-2 with 3:55 left in the second period.
However with seven seconds left Yorkton would once again restore their four goal lead when, with a crowd in front of the net, Bulych shoveled in the sixth Yorkton goal of the game to make it 6-2 after 40 minutes of play.
Kaeden Korczak’s second goal of the game made it 7-2 and it looked like the rout was on.
But someone forgot to tell the Wildcats as they scored the next four goals, including their sixth one with just 25 second remaining, to cut the Terriers lead to just one.
The Terriers, however, pulled themselves off the mat and delivered one final blow in the form of McIntyre’s second of the game with just one second left on the clock to give Yorkton all the momentum heading into Game Two on Sunday night, which they won 4-2 to claim their third consecutive Provincial championship.
The Warman Wildcats weren’t the only victims of the Yorkton Sherring Gold Terriers over the past week, however.
The Weyburn Youngfellow Wings also felt the sting of the powerful Yorkton Peewee Terriers club, falling 5-0 to Yorkton in Game One of the best-of-three SSMHL finals on Wednesday, March 19 at the Farrell Agencies Arena.
Zach McIntyre led the Yorkton offence with three goals while Aiden Bulych and Kishaun Gervais also found the back of the net for the Terriers.
Nolan Maier picked up the win and the shutout between the pipes for Yorkton while Jordan Muhr shouldered the loss for the Wings.
However, while a 5-0 win is always a good thing, Sherring Gold Terriers head coach Chad Korczak felt that his team didn’t perform to their usual standard for the entire 60 minutes. “We had a pretty flat first period,” acknowledge Korczak. “I’m not sure what the heck was going on with the kids but we got out of the first period in a 0-0 tie so we had a little talk and addressed a few things and came out and had a big second period where we scored five and then shut them down in the third period.”
Korczak also mentioned that his team needs to put forth a full 60 minute effort in Game Two if they want to sweep Weyburn, the only team to cause problems for the Terriers all season, and win the SSMHL Peewee Playoff title.
The Yorkton Sherring Gold Terriers will be in action tonight as they visit the Weyburn Youngfellow Wings for Game Two of their best-of-three SSMHL Final series.
Should the Terriers win they will be crowned the SSMHL Playoff champions and complete the Saskatchewan Peewee hockey treble with a regular season title, a Provincial title and a playoff title.