The Yorkton Terriers had some bad news before ever hitting the ice in this year's Western Canada Cup.
The Saskatchewan Hockey League's top netminder Kale Thomson, who had allowed just six goals in the final six games of the SJHL playoffs, was not able to play in the Terriers first game of the Western Canada Cup having been in hospital a day earlier for intravenous for flu-like symptoms.
With Thomson unavailable the Terriers turned to his back up, Nanaimo, BC, native Riley Medves for the start while Carson Bogdan, standout netminder for the SMAAAHL's Yorkton Harvest, took over the back up duties.
However it was not the start Medves, who had only played in 12 games this season, was hoping for.
Winnipeg's Jake Stillwell started things for the Blues scoring on Winnipeg's first shot 2:01 into the opening frame.
Ryan Bittner would make it 2-0 at 16:56, with Clay Tait adding a third Blues goal at 18:23.
The Terriers would finally hit the board at 7:29 of the second as Riley Hunt scored on the powerplay.
But the 3-1 score would hold for the remainder of the game giving Winnipeg a win.
Medves faced 24-shots in the Terriers nets, while Byron Spriggs turned away 25-of-26 Terriers shots for the Blues.
Medves said the game did not go as he had envisioned it, adding he thought "I had prepared really hard … I felt I had good practices all week," but added, it "was not the result" he wanted. "… Obviously it was a little bit tough. Definitely I was a little bit disappointed with my game.
"Kale's been there all year for us, and I would have liked to step in."
Medves said when the first shot went in, it put him and the Terriers "back on our heels a bit."
While the first period was rough, Medves and the Terriers gave up three goals, Medves settled down the rest of the way, noting he "felt more comfortable" as the game played out.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the Terriers put themselves at the bottom of a steep hill to climb giving up three unanswered goals in the first period.
"You give up the goals to anybody, and especially a team that won a provincial championship, it's pretty hard to come back from," he said.
Cassan said the Terriers had a slow start as a team, taking some of the blame noting it was his job to prepare them to be ready for the game.
And Cassan said the loss was not Medves' fault. In fact he said his netminder played well-enough, "for having not played for a while." The Terrier coach said Medves did a good job of not giving up a fourth goal which would have buried Yorkton. "He didn't let the game get away from us."
But the Terriers could not score enough to battle back either.
"We turned a lot of pucks over at key times and key situations," offered Cassan.
Cassan said he thought "at different times different guys were playing well," but as an overall unit the Terriers were not sharp.
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