The Yorkton Terriers and Humboldt Broncos are knotted at a game apiece in their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League semi final series after a pair of marathon contests.
Game one in Yorkton Friday actually turned out to be a tale of two games.
Regulation time was an old fashioned shoot out with the Broncos.
The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame with goals by Rhett Blackmuir and Matthew Audette.
The second saw Yorkton claw back outscoring the visitors 3-1.
Brett Boehm, put the Terriers on the board 8:47 into the second, before Logan Sproule responded to restore Humboldt’s two-goal lead, less than two-minutes later.
Dylan Johnson then struck for the Terriers at 18:03 and Chase Norrish notched a powerplay effort with three-seconds left on the clock to knot the contest.
Zach Zadorozniak gave the Terriers their first lead of the game with a goal 2:27 into the third, followed by one by Tyler Giebel at 4:06.
It was then the Broncos turn to respond.
Gray Marr drew Humboldt to within one at 6:17, and then Kyle Oleniuk tied the game at 10:21.
The remainder of regulation time proved nothing, forcing the game to overtime.
The first 20-minutes of extra time was scoreless.
A second period of overtime was the same.
And it appeared a third extra frame would go for naught, but David Miazga would find the mark with the Broncos 70th shot of the night at 17:58 of the period for the win.
Kale Thomson took the loss in the Terrier net, while Ryland Pashovitz had the win facing 62-shots for Humboldt.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the game was certainly different from what most might have expected.
“A lot of different situations happened in that game,” he said. “Twice they were up on us two goals, and once we were up on them two. Neither team was able to hold leads.”
So why were comebacks the story of regulation time?
“Probably just a case of both teams being pretty even,” said Cassan, adding when two teams are evenly matched, swings back and forth can occur.”
In terms of different situations, the third goal against the Terriers was a weird bounce off a glass stanchion that found the net.
Cassan said he thought the Terriers responded to the adversity of a bad bounce well.
“I thought we showed good character,” he said, adding when the goal was scored and restored a two-goal Bronco lead, the Terriers could have sagged, but didn’t.
As for the loss in OT, Cassan said losses happen.
“You don’t expect to win every game,” he said, adding he still saw some definite positives out of the game.
Cassan said while some fans might expect the Terriers to win in four, the team never expected that “to be the case.”
When you get to the final four in any league teams are too good to expect to take them out in four games.
The teams went back at it in Game two in Humboldt Sunday.
Cody Pongracz gave the host Broncos a 1-0 lead scoring the only goal of the first period at 15:07.
Boehm tied the score with the second period’s lone goal.
Four-minutes into the second Pongracz restored a Humboldt lead, only to see it evaporate 55-seconds later as Boehm scored on the powerplay.
And that was it for scoring in regulation time.
The teams headed to overtime again, and again the first 20-minutes of extra time was scoreless.
The second OT frame was 15:19 old before Kailum Gervais notched a powerplay marker for a Terrier victory.
Thomson faced 45-shots in the Terrier net for the win, while Pashovitz saw 50 in the loss.
While the teams would amass a combined 95 shots, Cassan said Game two had a different nature to it.
“There was not as many scoring chances to start,” he said.
The Terriers again fell behind, and again battled back.
Cassan said the Broncos second goal came on a bounce.
“It was unfortunate for us,” he said,adding the powerplay was able to get the goal back quickly, and that was huge in the game.
Cassan said scoring twice with the man advantage was big.
“There’s not a lot of powerplay in the series. They’re pretty disciplined,” he said, noting to get two was a game-breaker.
So with the first two games going to overtime, is there a secret to success in extra time?
“It’s going out there and not playing with the fear of losing,” offered Cassan.
Game three of the series was scheduled for the Farrell Agencies Arena Tuesday, but results were not available by press time.
The teams are back in Humboldt for Game four tonight, with Game five in Yorkton Friday.
Game six, if necessary will go Sunday in Humboldt, with Game seven, again if required, at the Farrell Agencies Arena next Tuesday.