Monday September 01, 2014

Terriers down Humboldt, face Mils in final

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Terriers sniper Brett Boehm takes the puck to the Humboldt net as teammate Tyler Giebel crashes it in hopes of banging in a rebound during SJHL semi-final action against the Humboldt Broncos.

 - Kailum Gervais looks for someone to dish the puck to as he fends off Humboldt’s David Stumborg in semi-final play at the Farrell Agencies Arena in Yorkton. -

Kailum Gervais looks for someone to dish the puck to as he fends off Humboldt’s David Stumborg in semi-final play at the Farrell Agencies Arena in Yorkton.

It is the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League final East Central Saskatchewan has always dreamed of, the Yorkton Terriers will face-off with the rival Melville Millionaires.

Both teams earned their spot in the final with Game five semi-final wins Friday, each winning their sides four games to one.

Melville turned the trick with a 2-0 shut-out in North Battleford to eliminate the Stars.

It took overtime in Yorkton for the Terriers to dispatch the Humboldt Broncos.

After a scoreless first period Friday, it appeared the second might go into the books the same way until Greg Moro notched a goal for the Broncos at the 19:23-mark of the period.

Brett Boehm would score the equalizer for the Terriers with a powerplay effort 38-seconds into the second period.

The rest of the game would go scoreless, pushing the game to overtime for the fourth time in the series.

Chase Norrish would notch the series-winner 1:53 into extra time.

Kale Thomson had the win in the Terrier net facing 30-shots, while Ryland Pashovitz faced 37 in the loss for Humboldt.

Chase Norrish said having two overtime winners in the series was a little unreal, but he was still all smiles after the series winner.

"It feels good to help the team out like that," he said.

Norrish said in overtime he was just trying to stick to some hockey basics, trying "to find open ice," and once found, using it to get a good shot on net.

Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said it was a great goal to win.

"Chase had a lot of space with the puck to get it to a scoring area," he said.

Cassan was also happy to be making a second straight league final, having won the crown last spring.

"I'm really happy for the guys," he said, adding he wanted the team to take a couple of days to enjoy the accomplishment before focusing on the final.

Cassan did add making back-to-back finals was "a good accomplishment" for the team.

As for Humboldt, Cassan said the Broncos did not go meekly, pushing the Terriers into overtime four times, and winning the series opener.

"I can't say enough about how well they played. The series could have been flipped over for them," he said.

Game Four

The fourth game of the series went last Wednesday (April 2) in Humboldt.

The host Broncos had goals from David Miazga and Gray Marr in the first period to establish a 2-0 lead which held through the opening frame.

Jordan Ross cut the lead in half with a short-handed effort at 1:43 of the second, before Jarrett Fontaine re-established a two-goal lead at 11:41.

Kailum Gervais brought the Terriers back to within one with a powerplay marker at 18:40 of the second, and Riley Hunt knotted the score 3-3 with a goal 51-seconds later.

The third proved scoreless, sending the game to overtime.

It was a short-lived extra frame as Chase Norrish scored the winner for the Terriers 25-seconds into extra time, for a 4-3 win.

Thomson faced 34-shots in the Terrier net for the win, with Pashovitz facing 49 in the Bronco net taking the loss.

Game Three

It was an old-fashioned shoot-out at the Farrell Agencies Arena last Tuesday (April 1).

Boehm used the powerplay to score the game's first goal for the Terriers in the opening frame, only to have that effort matched by Cody Pongracz with a Bronco goal with the man advantage.

Chase Norrish notched a Terrier goal in the second, but it too was matched by an effort by Humboldt's Gray Marr.

Then in the third both offences geared up.

Connor Swystun gave Humboldt its first lead of the game 3:37 into the last period, with Stuart Symenuk adding one at 3:59 for a 4-2 Bronco lead.

Boehm drew the Terriers to within one at 11:35, and Zach Zadorozniak potted the equalizer at 16:16.

Boehm completed a hat trick with his second powerplay goal of the night at 18:10 to put the home team up one.

Tayler Thompson added an empty netter for the Terriers, which would become the game-winner as Pongracz gave the Broncos hope with a goal at 19:37 to make it a 6-5 contest.

Thomson had the win facing 36-shots, while Pashovitz took the loss looking at 38.

Boehm said potting three goals was obviously "huge" adding that being down a pair early in the third meant the Terriers were playing with some urgency.

After falling behind by two, Cassan called a time out. Boehm said it was a reminder from their coach that there was lots of time left on the clock, and they needed to settle back into their game.

"He said to relax … That there was lots of time left, to keep pushing," he said, adding the team bought in and felt confident they would catch the Broncos.

Up next

Headed to the league finals the playoff stats are a mix for the two combatants.

The Terriers have a decided edge in terms of offence having scored 41-goals in their 10 playoff games compared to 24 in nine games for the Mills.

Defensively, Melville has been stingier allowing only 15-goals over nine games, compared to 25 in 10-games by the Terriers.

Chase Norrish said the prospect of a rivalry final was "pretty exciting," adding the atmosphere will be pretty intense because of rabid fans. "Both rinks are going to be packed," he said.

Cassan said there was "going to be enough talk about it and hype," but also urged fans "to keep a little bit of perspective," noting that it is Junior hockey played by mainly teenagers.

In that regard Cassan felt there will be "many ups and downs, not just in the series, but in a 20-minute period," and both players and fans have to ride the roller coaster with poise.

"You can't live in a loss too long, or a win either," he offered.

While the rivalry might intensify the series, Norrish said he believes the playoff run this year, and the league crown last year, will be assets the Terriers can draw, adding the core of the Terriers were in the 2013 final.

While winning against Notre Dame in their opening round in five, and then eliminating Humboldt in five, Norrish said the Terriers had to work for their wins in both series, and that battle testing is important in the playoffs.

Looking back at the regular season the Terriers topped the Viterra Division with 81-points, Melville finishing second at 74.

The Terriers had a league best 186 goals, the Mills second at 181.

The Terriers also had a league-best 125 goals against, while the Mills were fifth allowing 158.

In head-to-head play the Terriers won six-of-eight regular season meetings.

Norrish said the regular season will have little to do with the series ahead, adding they know the Millionaires are "going to bring their 'A' game" in the finals.

Norrish said ultimately the Terriers can't focus too much on the opposition being their arch rivals.

"We've just got to go into it thinking about it one period at a time," he said.

The final's schedule has the series starting at the Farrell Agencies Arena in Yorkton Friday, with Game two moving to Melville Satuday. Game three will be in Yorkton Monday, Game four in Melville next Wednesday (April 16). If Game five is needed, it will be played in Yorkton next Friday, April 18, with Game six, again if needed Saturday, April 19 in Melville. If the series goes the distance, Game seven would be played in Yorkton, Monday, April 21.

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